Southern California home prices were up last month, according to new figures released by San Diego-based DataQuick.
The median price paid for a home in the six counties of Southern California increased to $306,000 last month, up 2% from $300,000 in June and up 8.1% from $283,000 in July 2011. July's median price was the highest since September 2008, and the month's 8.1% annual gain was the highest for any month since July 2010, when the median rose 10.1%.
Last month saw a total of 20,588 new and resale houses and condos sold in Southern California. That was down 6.7% from 22,075 in June, but it was up 13.8% from 18,090 in July 2011. Last month's sales were 19.4% lower than the average sales tally of 25,545 for all the months of July since 1988, when DataQuick's statistics begin.
Furthermore, the number of Southern California homes sold in July for less than $200,000 fell 5.8% from a year earlier, while the number that sold for $200,000 to $400,000 rose 13.4%. Sales between $300,000 and $800,000 – a range that would include many move-up buyers – increased 22% year-over-year, while sales over $800,000 rose 7.2% from July 2011. Jumbo loans accounted for 20.2% of last month's purchase lending, up from 20% the prior month and up 17.8% a year ago.
Distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and short sales – made up 39.7% of last month's resale market. That was the lowest level since the figure was 36% in January 2008.