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Housing sales drop

The Southern California housing market hit a bump in the road during May.

Sales of single-family homes in the six-county region dropped 2.3 percent from April and were down 15.1 compared with May of last year, according to DataQuick’s monthly housing report.

Year-over-year sales have now dropped for eight consecutive months. While month-to-month changes in the market can fluctuate wildly, April to May is usually a positive transition: on average, sales rise 5.8 percent between those two months, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

“We expected rising prices to unlock more inventory this spring, and that’s what happened,” said Andrew LePage, DataQuick analyst, in a statement. “But the supply of homes for sale still falls short of demand in many markets, contributing to a rise in prices and a below-average sales pace.”

Even though more construction has added to inventory, a drop in affordability has helped cause sales to dip below where they were one year ago, LePage said.

The median price of a home in Southern California – the Inland Empire plus Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Ventura counties – was $410,000 last month, up 1.4 percent from April and 11.4 percent year-over-year.

In the Inland region, year-over-year sales were down 15.6 percent in Riverside County and 10.3 percent in San Bernardino County. Some of that decline can be attributed to a rise in prices: the median price of a single-family home in Riverside County last month was $295,000, a 17.1 percent increase compared with May 2013.

In San Bernardino County, the $245,000 median price was a 20.7 percent year-over-year increase, according to DataQuick.

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