Demand up for Cheaper Homes

Special to The Times

Housing demand in the six-county Southern California region nudged up by 0.3% in the month of February compared to the same period a year ago, according to TRW REDI Property Data.

While demand seems to have firmed up slightly, TRW REDI found a noticeable shift of activity in favor of lower-priced homes. Entry level homes now account for just over 53% of all purchases compared to 49% a year ago.

The average price of a home sold in February was $204,000, which represents a decline of about 5% compared to 1992. "Much of the decline in prices, however, is attributable to the fact that today a higher portion of sales is taking place at the lower end of the market," Nima Nattagh, TRW REDI's research analyst, said. "This tends to drag down overall average prices."

TRW REDI Property Data monitors property transactions from public record documents. The data in the February report reflects the closing of transactions begun 30 to 90 days ago.

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