DataQuick: August SoCal Home Sales down slightly from July, Up 2.8% year-over-year, Distressed Sales down
A total of 23,057 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 0.8 percent from a revised 23,253 sales in July, and up 2.8 percent from 22,438 sales in August 2012, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.
Last month’s sales were 12.8 percent below the average number of sales – 26,452 – in the month of August since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. Southland sales haven’t been above average for any particular month in more than seven years. August sales have ranged from 16,379 in August 1992 to 39,562 in August 2003.
In a sign of continued market confidence, Southern California home buyers continue to put near-record amounts of their own money into residential real estate. In August they paid a total of $4.68 billion out of their own pockets in the form of down payments or cash purchases. That was down from a revised $5.18 billion in July and up from $4.24 billion a year ago. The out-of-pocket total peaked this May at $5.41 billion.
“There’s something for everyone in today’s housing data. Sellers have seen an amazing price jump from just a year ago, allowing many to finally sell at a profit. Home shoppers have more properties to choose as we begin to see a ‘supply response’ to higher values. Price pressures appear to be easing, though, amid higher mortgage rates, more supply and fewer cash and investor purchases. As we head into fall and winter, a slower time of year, we’ll probably see year-over-year price gains continue to taper,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.
In August, foreclosure resales – homes foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 7.1 percent of the Southland resale market. That was down from a revised 7.7 percent the month before and down from 19.2 percent a year earlier. Last month’s foreclosure resale rate was the lowest since it was 5.5 percent in June 2007. In the current cycle, foreclosure resales hit a high of 56.7 percent in February 2009.
Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 13.6 percent of Southland resales last month. That was the lowest level since it was also 13.6 percent in April 2009. Last month’s short sale figure was down from an estimated 14.6 percent the month before and down from 26.6 percent a year earlier.
Absentee buyers – mostly investors and some second-home purchasers – bought 26.3 percent of the Southland homes sold last month, which is the lowest share for any month since it was 25.1 percent in November 2011. Last month’s level was down from 27.4 percent the month before and down from 27.2 percent a year earlier.
This is moving in the right direction (fewer distressed sales, fewer absentee buyers).