While latest real estate research show home sales gaining in Los Angeles and Orange counties, median prices were down in July, according to figures released by the La Jolla-based research firm DataQuick.
A total of 6,595 new and existing homes and condominiums were sold in LA County in August, a 6 percent jump since July, according to DataQuick figures.
However, the median home price was $315,000, a 2 percent drop since July. At the same time last year, home sales in LA County were up 6.7 percent, but prices were down about 5 percent.
Orange County also saw an increase in home sales with 2,780 new and existing homes sold in August, a 12 percent jump since July. Orange County’s median home price was $420,000, compared to $437,000 in July.
Despite the increase in home sales, DataQuick President John Walsh said the numbers presented little to cheer about.
“Home sales were up from a year earlier but remained far below average. Many would-be buyers can't find financing, and others who want to make a move now are stuck because they owe more than their homes are worth,'' said Walsh. “Financial markets are increasingly choppy, the political outlook is incredibly murky and consumer confidence remains poor. Needless to say, it's not an environment ripe for stabilizing the housing market.''
Walsh pointed to declining median home prices in Southern California over the last two months as signs of the still-faltering real estate market.
However, Walsh’s skeptical outlook was contrasted by local real estate agents who see more positive gains in the industry.
“I would agree that this may not be good for people selling their homes but it’s great for buyers looking to get into a long term home at an affordable price,” said Zak Bushey, real estate agent with Century 21 Marty Rodriguez. “Financing is easy to find as long as you have proof of income and a decent credit score.”
According to Southland Properties agent Gary Boyer, home sales in the Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Azusa and Covina have been low, although steady since February 2009. According to data from Southland Properties, the five-city area reached its peak in home sales in 2003 with 2,755 sales. The area saw its lowest year in 2007 with just 1,470 sales. Last year, the area saw 1,918 home sales.