A total of 16,208 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 3.2 percent from 16,744 sales in October, and down 15.5 percent from 19,181 in November 2009, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.
A drop in sales from October to November is normal for the season, with the decline averaging 8.1 percent since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. November’s sales were the lowest for that month since 2007, when 13,173 sold, and the second-lowest since 1992, when 15,446 sold. Last month’s sales fell 26.5 percent below the average November sales tally of 22,047.
In the new-home market, sales were the slowest for a November since at least 1988. In many growth areas the math for builders just doesn’t work: The cost to construct is higher than what buyers can afford or are willing to pay. Often builders can’t compete with the pricing of nearby resale homes, especially foreclosures and short sales.
The median price paid for a Southland home was $287,000 in November. That was up 1.4 percent from $283,000 in October, and up 0.7 percent from $285,000 in November 2009. The 0.7 percent annual gain was the lowest since the median began rising year-over-year each month since last December.
The median’s low point for the current real estate cycle was $247,000 in April 2009, while the high point was $505,000 in mid 2007. The peak-to-trough drop was due to a decline in home values as well as a shift in sales toward low-cost homes, especially inland foreclosures.
Foreclosure resales – homes foreclosed on in the past year – accounted for 35.1 percent of the resale market last month, up from 34.7 percent in October but down from 39.0 percent a year ago. Foreclosure resales hit a low this year of 32.8 percent in June and, with the exception of a dip in September, have trended slightly higher ever since. The peak was in February 2009 at 56.7 percent.