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Southern California Home Sales Dip In November

People trying to buy homes in Southern California were up against high prices and a lack of homes made available by foreclosures last month.

Aired 12/17/13 on KPBS News.

DataQuick reports the number of November home sales was down, while prices were up, compared to November 2012.

That meant home sales were down 14.2 percent in November, compared to the previous month. Sales were also down 10.4 percent compared to November 2012, according to the latest housing market report from San Diego-based Dataquick.

The slim supply of homes for sale, which was bad for buyers, remained good news for sellers. The median home price in Southern California was nearly 20 percent higher, in November, than it was a year before. Dataquick reports the median sale price has remained steady for six months.

The slump in sales is due to several factors. Some owners are still unwilling to sell because they are "upside down," meaning they owe more on their homes than the houses are worth. There are fewer foreclosures and less activity by investors who are paying cash. Much of it comes down to the old rule of supply and demand.

"The inventory of homes for sale still falls short of demand," said DataQuick president John Walsh, who added the high prices will eventually prompt people to sell. "This spring could bring a substantial surge in inventory as more homeowner look to cash in on higher values."

In San Diego County the median home price last month was $415,000, up almost 16 percent from November 2012. San Diego's slump in sales last month mirrored the regional trend, as 10.5 fewer homes sold last month compared to the same time the year before.

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