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A Last Look at ’94 Home Prices

Before we close the books on 1994, here is one last look at how home prices fared last year in your community or city:

Home sales in the Southland rose 14.2% to 172,843 units in 1994, but prices fell 2.3%, from a median of $172,000 in 1993 to $167,000 last year, according to Dataquick Information Systems of La Jolla, which surveyed Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Prices hit a bottom in February last year, said Donald L. Cohn, Dataquick’s CEO, then climbed back up during the summer home-buying season, fell a bit during the fall and started climbing again toward the end of the year.

“Prices don’t move uniformly from market to market,” Cohn said. “Right now it looks like the grim price drops that the high-end part of the market experienced are over, and prices have started coming back up.

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What might appear to be severe price declines in areas hurt hardest by the Northridge earthquake (see chart at right) are more the result of a post-quake shift in market mix than true declines in value, Cohn said. “Deeply discounted distress sales currently account for a larger portion of the market than normal, and these fire-sale prices are tugging median prices down,” he said.

“Some of the price decline has spread to the entry-level market, but we don’t expect it to be nearly as severe there as it was for expensive homes. The smaller a home is, the more stable the prices are,” he said.

To see how your community rates, see K3.

Where Prices Rose Most in 1994 Playa del Rey: 21.6% Palos Verdes Peninsula: 9.1% San Dimas: 4.5% San Marino: 2.7% Malibu: 2.3% Monrovia: 1.6% Port Hueneme: 1.3% Laguna Beach: 1.0% San Juan Capistrano: 0.5% Trabuco/Coto de Caza: 0.4% La Canada Flintridge: 0.2%

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Where Prices Fell Most in 1994 Northridge: -17.1% Glendora: -14.3% Chatsworth: -12.4% Calabasas: -12.2% Sunland: -12.1% Sun Valley: -11.7% Beverly Hills: -11.6% San Fernando: -10.3% Encino: -10.3% North Hollywood: -9.9% Palmdale: -9.7% Littlerock: -9.6% (Limited to communities with more than 100 sales.)


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