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About 12 percent fewer homes sold in the county in May than sold in the same month in 2007, DataQuick reported this morning.

Still, May’s sales total was the highest for any recent month since August 2007. The homes that did sell — 2,979 of them — logged the lowest median price the county has seen since September 2003.

DataQuick attributed the trend of increased sales juxtaposed with a deeper price plunge across the Southern California region to bargain shoppers and “sluggish high-end sales, more sellers dropping their asking prices and lenders selling off more of their aggressively priced, repossessed homes,” in a press release.

Agents hunting for a silver lining were touting last month’s sales bump as evidence the market was turning around.

Chris Thornberg, housing economist, disputed the notion of a quick turnaround in my story on the Case-Shiller index last month:

“Home markets do not bounce, they splat,” Thornberg said. “We’re not dropping a rubber ball here, we’re dropping a watermelon.”

KELLY BENNETT

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