Home sales fell 9.9 percent across the six-county region from
Faring the worst in January on home sales was
Home sales in much of
This January, though, the six-county sales count is well below the norm: Only 14,471 sales were logged, some 17.3 percent lower than the 17,493 average recorded by DataQuick for January since 1988.
"The economy is growing but Southland home sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis for four consecutive months now, and remain well below average," DataQuick president
Home prices on
The double-digit run-up in home prices for much of 2013 continued into 2014, and for January, drove the six-county median 18.4 percent higher from the year earlier to
Median home sale prices in
For many months, real estate handlers say investors have been dropping out of the picture, an exodus that signaled waning foreclosure and short-sale activity in Inland Southern California.
"Two of the bigger questions hanging in the housing market right now are, 'How much pent-up demand is left out there?' and, 'Will inventory skyrocket this year as more owners take advantage of the price run-up?' " Walsh said.
"On the buyers' side one year ago, the market was being driven by investors,'' he explained. "If price is up, they don't see the capital gains possibilities they did before. They're backing off. And, the gap is not being filled by families looking for homes."
The number of Southland homes selling below
Absentee buyers -- investors or second-home purchasers -- bought 27.5 percent of all homes sold, down from 32.4 percent in
On the supply side, Husing said homeowners have been recovering value in their homes, but equity has not appreciated enough to give them a lot of incentive to sell. "Another reason homes are not selling is the caution that people are taking."
They are unwilling to move around, he said, commenting: "The economy still has them generally spooked."
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