Median Home Down 31 Percent From a Year Ago

The median price of a home in Los Angeles County was flat at $300,000 last month, but is down 31 percent from $435,000 during the same month a year ago, figures released today show.

A total of 6,425 homes in the Los Angeles area sold in April, compared to the 5,971 that changed hands in March, La Jolla-based DataQuick reported. Home sales were up 28.1 percent from April 2008, when 5,016 homes sold locally.

In Orange County, the median home price was $380,000 in April, down from $390,000 in March and $500,000 a year ago, according to DataQuick.

A total of 2,391 homes sold in Orange County last month, down from 2,413 homes sold in March, but up 10.4 percent from the 2,166 homes sales in April 2008, according to DataQuick.

According to DataQuick, 20,514 homes sold in the six-county Southern California region in April, up 5.2 percent from the 19,506 homes sold in March and up 31.4 percent from 15,615 sold a year ago.

Southern California homes also sold at a faster pace than a year ago for the 10th consecutive month, as first-time buyers and investors continued to target distressed inland properties, according to DataQuick.

After holding steady the first three months of this year, however, the median sale price in Southern California fell slightly from March.

Across Southern California, the median price paid for all homes last month was $247,000, down 1.2 percent from $250,000 in March and down 35.8 percent from $385,000 a year ago, according to DataQuick.

According to DataQuick, home prices are flattening out or falling more slowly in recent months.

"In many markets we've seen signs you'd expect to see not long before prices would normally stabilize: robust investor and first-time buyer activity, 10-plus months of year-over-year sales gains, and less price erosion, if any," said John Walsh, DataQuick's president.

Walsh cautioned, however, that layoffs and a new round of foreclosures could threatened home price stability.

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