By City News Service
Home sales in San Diego County fell 25.1 percent in October, compared to the same month a year ago, while prices increased 2.9 percent during the same period, a real estate information service reported Tuesday.
A total of 2,750 homes changed hands locally last month, compared to 3,671 in October 2009, according to La Jolla-based MDA DataQuick. The median price of a home in San Diego County in October was $334,500, up from $325,000 in October 2009.
A total of 16,744 new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county Southern California region — Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties — in October, according to DataQuick. That was down 7.4 percent from 18,091 in September, and down 24.3 percent from 22,132 in October 2009.
October's home-sale figures were at their lowest level in three years.
"In addition to a lousy economy, the housing market still has a couple of nasty bottlenecks it has to contend with," said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president. "First, sales of newly built homes are at a low, mostly because builders can't build at a low enough price to compete with the inventory of resale homes, many of which are short sales or foreclosures.
"Also, lenders still haven't opened the mortgage money spigot for buying move-up and prestige properties," he said. "These properties have come down in value by about half as much as entry-level homes. But trying to finance a higher-end purchase can be a real grind, even for well-qualified buyers with a 20 percent down-payment."
The median price for a Southern California home was $283,000 last month, down 4.2 percent from $295,500 in September, and up 1.1 percent from $280,000 in October 2009, according to DataQuick.