Southland Sales up slightly in January

The median Southland Sale Price has been flat since 2009

By Scot Campbell – Source Dataquick 02/15/2012

The January 2012 sales figures were just published by Dataquick and here is what they found:

The Southland housing market started 2012 with slightly higher sales and slightly lower prices despite record-low mortgage interest rates. Home sales skewed toward the lower price ranges, which is normal for January, as many traditional buyers retreated and investors snapped up homes at a record level.

OrangeCountyhome sales dropped 3%, and the median sale price dropped 5.5% to $392,000.

A total of 14,523 new and resale houses and condos sold inLos Angeles,Riverside,San Diego,Ventura,San BernardinoandOrangecounties last month. That was down 24.5 percent from 19,247 in December, and up 0.4 percent from 14,458 in January 2011.

Sales have increased year-over-year for five of the last six months. The sharp sales decline from December is normal for the season. Last month’s sales count was 17.8 percent below the 17,671 average for all the months of January since 1988.

A total of 669 newly built homes sold in January, the lowest number for any month since DataQuick started keeping track in 1988.

Distressed sales made up more than half of January’s resale market.

Foreclosure resales – properties foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – made up 32.6 percent of resales last month, up from a revised 32.4 percent in December and down from 36.8 percent a year earlier. Foreclosure resales hit a high of 56.7 percent in February 2009 and a low of 32.8 percent last June.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 21.3 percent of Southland resales last month. That was a high for the currentreal estatecycle and compares with 19.6 percent in both December and January 2011.

Absentee buyers – mostly investors and some second-home purchasers – bought a record 26.8 percent of the Southland homes sold in January, paying a median $193,500. TheInland Empiresaw absentee purchases rise to a record 33.6 percent of all sales. Since 2000, the Southland’s absentee buyers purchased a monthly average of 16.9 percent of all homes sold.

Cash purchasers accounted for a near-record 31.4 percent of January home sales, paying a median $199,000. That was up from 29.8 percent in December, and up from 30.4 percent a year earlier. The 10-year monthly average for Southland homes purchased with cash is 15.1 percent. Cash purchases are where there was no indication in the public record that a corresponding purchase loan was recorded.

Government-insured FHA loans, a popular low-down-payment choice among first-time buyers, accounted for 31.2 percent of all purchase mortgages in January. Last month’s FHA level was up from 30.7 percent in December but down from 33.2 percent in January 2011. Two years ago FHA loans made up 35.0 percent of the purchase loan market, while three years ago it was 38.9 percent.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Southland buyers committed themselves to paying was $983 last month, the lowest since it was also $983 in May 1999. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s typical monthly mortgage payment is the lowest in DataQuick’s records, which go back to 1988.

For questions about buying and selling real estate in Orange County, contact Scot Campbell.  He is the President of The Scot Campbell TEAM at Coldwell Banker-Campbell Realtors in Huntington Beach, CA.  He has been a licensed broker for over 21 years and has brokered over 1000 homes and just about every type of transaction imaginable.  Read his profile and client reviews at www.ScotCampbell.com   He can be reached at 714-960-0700 at the office, 714-336-0394 on his mobile number or via email at Scot.Campbell@ColdwellBanker.com

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