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Local company analyzes real estate market

Home sales in San Diego County rose by 1.4 percent in August, compared to the same month a year ago, while prices dropped 26.3 percent, a real estate information service reported today.

A total of 3,148 homes sold in August, up from 3,104 for August 2007, while the median price of a home in San Diego County last month was $350,000, down from $475,000 in the same month a year ago, according to La Jolla-based MDA DataQuick.

According to DataQuick, home sales in the six-county Southern California region in August were higher than the same month last year - the second month in a row that sales have shown increases - but median prices continued tumbling.

“It’s the most common and pressing question we hear from Wall Street and Main Street - when will the housing market hit bottom?’' said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president. “We see tentative signs that sales, not prices, have hit bottom in some inland markets. That’s where home values have fallen the most, stoking a lot more demand.’'

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A total of 19,366 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 4.7 percent from 20,329 in July but up 9.1 percent from 17,755 in August 2007.

The median price of a Southern California home was $330,000 in August, down 5.2 percent from $348,000 in July and down a record 34 percent from $500,000 in August 2007.