Sales volume in Southern California’s real estate market dropped for the fourth month in a row in October, as prices hit a record high, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 28,189 homes were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in October, down 5.9 percent from September’s 29,942 and down 13.3 percent from 32,522 for October last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Last year’s regionwide sales count was the highest for any October DataQuick has in its records, which go back to 1988. Historically, sales for the month of October have ranged from 14,608 in 1991 to the 32,522 last year. Year-over-year sales were off 1.2 percent in San Bernardino County, while they were off 24.6 percent in Orange County.

The median price paid for a Southern California home was $410,000 last month, up 0.2 percent from $409,000 in September, and up 23.1 percent from $333,000 for October 2003.

“It’s starting to look like prices in many of the more expensive neighborhoods have leveled off or have come down slightly from a summer peak. In mid-market and entry-level neighborhoods it appears that both sales activity and appreciation remain strong,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

DataQuick, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

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