Southern California housing market posts strong August


Home sales in Southern California hit their highest level for an August in six years last month, and the median price for a home in the region rose to a four-year high.

Sales rose 9.0% from the previous month and were 14.2% from the same month last year to total 22,438, real estate firm DataQuick reported. The lift in sales came as fewer foreclosures and low-end homes sold and the market for move-up and high-end up homes heated up, the firm reported.

The region’s median home price -- the point at which half the homes in the area sold for more and half for less -- hit $309,000 last month. That was up 1.0% from the prior month and 10.8% from the same month a year earlier.


[Updated at 9:58 a.m.: August marks the last month of the busy spring and summer season and sales should cool off as the fall and winter months approach.

“August was the strongest month for home sales so far this year, and the strongest for an August in six years. That’s really saying something given the drop in low-end sales, especially foreclosure resales,” DataQuick president John Walsh said in a news release. “Strong seasonal forces should be kicking in now. Absent an unusual surge in demand this fall, sales will taper off over the next few months.”

When looked at regional median home prices year-over-year, the Inland Empire posting the most sizable pop, confirming that the region’s most affordable homes have become the most competitive.

Median home prices rose sharply in the Inland Empire -- which during the housing bust was one of the hardest hit regions in the nation -- even as sales fell in Riverside County and were up only modestly in San Bernardino. The price spike in the Inland Empire amid lackluster sales underscores a national trend: there is heavy desire for low-end homes and not enough inventory to satisfy that demand.

Here’s the year-over-year median home price breakdown, according to real estate research firm DataQuick:

--Riverside County was up 10.5% to hit $210,000.

-- San Bernardino County was up 12.0% to hit $168,000.

--Los Angeles County was up 6.3% to hit $335,000.

--Orange County was up 6.0% to hit $445,000.

-- San Diego County rose 7.9% to hit $345,250.

--Ventura County rose 2.8% to hit $365,000.

Here’s the year-over-year home sales breakdown:

--Riverside County sales were down 3.4%, to total 3,520.

--San Bernardino County sales were up 3.2%, to total 2,705.

--Los Angeles County sales were up 20.0%, to total 7,917.

--Orange County sales were up 20.0%, to total 3,337.

--San Diego County sales were up 22.5%, to total 3,981.

--Ventura County sales were up 27.8%, to total 978.]



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