California’s Housing Market Is Performing Better This June
In a positive sign for California’s economy, nearly 44,000 houses and condominiums were sold statewide in June, Southern California sales volume was the highest since June of 2006 and mortgage defaults hit a three-year low, according to MDA DataQuick, a La Jolla-based monitor of real estate activity nationwide.
The median price paid for a home in June was $270,000, a 9.8 percent increase from $246,000 in June 2009.
Tempering the good news is that DataQuick notes that in April of last year, the median price was $221,000 but prior to housing market collapse in early 2007 the median was $484,000.
Of June’s sales statewide, nearly 35 percent were properties foreclosed on within the past year. In June 2009, 45.6 percent of the sales were foreclosures. The highest percentage was 58.5 in February 2009.
In Southern California, the median sale price of the 23,871 homes sold in June in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties was $300,000 – up 13 percent from last June’s $265,000. Prior to the recession, in mid 2007, the median sale price was $505,000.
It was the most sales in June since 2006 when 31,602 sold.
Foreclosures were 33 percent of the resales. Nearly 21 percent of the homes sold cost $500,000 or more.
“The market was wildly out of kilter a year ago, now it’s just somewhat out of kilter. The single-biggest issue is still mortgage financing. Rates may be at record lows, but that doesn’t mean much if the lender won’t qualify you,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick’s president, in a statement accompanying the statistics.
June’s sales in the Bay Area were mixed. In the nine-county region, 8,373 homes were sold, a 1.3 percent increase from 8,264 in May but 3.1 percent lower than June 2009’s 8,644 sales.
The median price was $410,000 — up 16.5 percent from $352,000 in June 2009 but still down from June 2007’s high of $665,000.
For the quarter of April 2010 to June 2010, some 70,000 “notices of default” were filed with county recorders. Default notices begin the formal foreclosure process.
It is the fifth quarter the number of default notice filings has dropped and the lowest level of filing in three years
The most declines came in areas with the most affordable houses – the very areas hit hardest over the past two years by foreclosures.
In 2010’s first quarter, 81,054 notices were filed. During the second quarter of 2009, 124,562 were filed, 43 percent more than in the same period in 2010.
Walsh cites as one factor for the shrinking number of defaults, is rising home prices.
“If they continue to rise, fewer homeowners will find themselves under water,” he said in a statement.
DataQuick found that at the time a lender files a notice of default the homeowner is a median five months behind in mortgage payments, owe a median $15,000 on a $325,600 mortgage.
Of the homes foreclosed on between April and June, on average it took nine months go through the foreclosure process that begins with a default notice. It took 6.4 months during the same period last year.
In some parts of the state default filings dropped nearly 50 percent. Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange and Monterey posted declines of 47 percent or more over the same period last year.
Homes lost to foreclosure increased in Southern California by 4.5 percent compared to the second quarter of 2009. They were up nearly 9 percent in Los Angeles and 16.6 percent in Orange County but down by 6 percent in San Diego.
San Francisco saw a 32.4 percent jump from 136 homes in 2009 to 180 homes in the second quarter of 2010.
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