SoCal Home Prices Down, Sales Up

Home sales in Los Angeles County jumped by 19.8 percent in May, compared to the same month a year ago, but prices dropped by 28.9 percent, a real estate information service reported Wednesday.

A total of 6,521 homes sold in May, up from 5,445 for May 2008, while the median price of a home in Los Angeles County last month was $300,000, down from $422,000 in the same month a year ago, according to La Jolla-based MDA DataQuick.

In Orange County, the median home price was $410,000, down 15.5 percent from the May 2008 median of $485,000, according to DataQuick. A total of 2,667 homes were sold in the county last month, up 17.7 percent from the 2,266 home sales in May 2008.

According to DataQuick, home sales in the six-county Southern California region in May jumped by 22.8 percent over the same month last year, while home prices dipped 32.7 percent to $249,000.

"We appear to be in the early stages of the market gradually tilting back toward a more normal balance of sales across the home price spectrum," said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president. "As more sellers get realistic, more buyers get off the fence and more lenders offer reasonable terms for high-end purchase financing, we'll see a more normal share of sales in the more established, higher-cost areas that have been nearly comatose."

A total of 20,775 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 1.3 percent from 20,514 in April and up 22.8 percent from 16,917 in May 2008.

The median price of a Southern California home was $249,000 in May, up 0.8 percent from $247,000 in April but down 32.7 percent from $370,000 in May 2008.

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