Southern California Median Price Hits $247,000

January 28, 2002

DataQuick Reports Sales Counts Down, Yet Prices Continue Skyward

Inman News Features

Southern California home prices ended the year with a record-high median price of $247,000, the result of tight inventory and reasonable mortgage rates, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Sales counts were slightly behind year-ago levels as stretched-out escrows put some closings off for a few weeks, according to DataQuick, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, which monitors real estate activity nationwide.

A total of 24,913 new and resale houses and condominiums were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That number was up 9.3 percent from 22,795 for the prior month and down 1.6 percent from 25,323 for December 2000.

"While a lot of the purchasing activity has been in entry-level markets the last few months, it appears that many move-up buyers got back into the market towards the end of the year," said DataQuick President Mike Ela. "Many of those were buyers who had put their plans on hold after Sept. 11. Their activity, along with the regular year-end surge of new home sales, pushed December's median to a new peak in all Southland counties."

The number of new homes built and sold was 5,053 in December, the highest since 5,482 new homes were sold in December 1989.

The median price of $247,000 was up 3.8 percent from $238,000 for November, and up 12.3 percent from $220,000 for December last year.

The typical monthly mortgage payment Southland home buyers committed themselves to paying was $1,279 in December. A year ago it was $1,151. The all-time peak was in April 1989 at $1,360, DataQuick reported.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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