October home sales down in county
Home sales in San Diego County were down 4.3 percent in October compared to the same time last year, but were up 4.9 percent from the previous month, according to figures released Wednesday.
The median price of an existing single-family home in San Diego County last month was $378,540, up 3.5 percent from $365,580 in October of last year, but down 1.9 percent from $386,050 in September, according to the California Association of Realtors.
Statewide, home sales increased 1 percent in October, compared to the same month a year ago, and were up 5.9 percent from the previous month, according to CAR.
“Home sales historically trail off during the fall and winter months as we move to the off-peak season for the housing market,” said Steve Goddard, CAR’s president. “However, with affordable home prices, mortgage rates hovering around 5 percent and the extension and expansion of the federal tax credit, we expect first-time and move-up home buyers to drive home sales through the end of this year and into early 2010.”
The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California in October was $297,500, a 3.2 percent decrease from the $307,210 during the same month last year, but up .3 percent from September’s $296,610.
“California’s median price rose for the eighth consecutive month in October and sales continued to show strength, signs that California has hit and passed the bottom of this real estate cycle,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, CAR’s vice president and chief economist.
“The number of distressed sales as a share of total sales has shown considerable improvement since the beginning of the year, as a result of loan modifications and other efforts to prevent troubled mortgages from going into foreclosure,” she said. “This has led to a decline in inventory levels since the start of the year that is more consistent with the price gains we have seen in recent months.”
Thirty-year fixed mortgage interest rates dropped to 4.95 percent in October, compared to 6.20 percent in October of last year, according to CAR.