Southern California's median sale price rose year-over-year in April for the first time in 16 months, according to new data released by San Diego-based DataQuick.
DataQuick reports the median price paid for a Southern California home in April was $290,000, up 3.6% from $280,000 in both the previous month and April 2011. Last month's median was the highest since the median was also $290,000 in December 2010. The year-over-year gain in the April median was also the first since December 2010, when the median rose a scant 0.3%.
Furthermore, April's $290,000 median was 17.4% above the low point for the current real estate cycle – $247,000 in April 2009 – and 42.6% below the $505,000 peak in mid-2007.
Last month a total of 19,284 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties. That was down 3.4% from 19,953 in March and up 5.1% from 18,344 in April 2011.
‘The housing market continued its painfully slow crawl back toward normalcy last month. You can see it in the fading role of foreclosures, the uptick in median prices here and there, and the higher levels of sales in coastal counties,’ says John Walsh, DataQuick's president. ‘Of course, there are still a lot of things that make this market abnormal – investor and cash buying are still unusually robust. The jumbo loan market has yet to recover, and the use of plain-vanilla adjustable-rate mortgages remains far below normal. Lots of homeowners are underwater, and the market remains awash in uncertainty over the economy, home prices, and the way lenders will handle the many thousands of homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments.’