The number of Southern California homes sold in January edged down to the lowest level in five years as many potential buyers decided to sit on the fence during the real estate market's off-season, a real estate information service reported. A total of 20,085 new and resale homes were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month, down 30.6 percent from 28,952 in December, and down 7.4 percent from 21,680 for January last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems. A decline from December to January is normal for the season, DataQuick reported. Last month's sales count was the lowest for any January since 2001 when 18,010 homes were sold. The strongest January in DataQuick's statistics was in 1989 when 23,379 homes were sold; the weakest was in 1992 when 10,994 homes were sold. "Trends in January and February are notoriously bad at predicting upcoming activity. Is the market taking a breather? Or is it starting to tumble? It's ...
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