Industry News

SoCal real estate sales fall again

Prices continue to escalate as market cools

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Home prices in Southern California edged up to a new record in February, as sales fell to their lowest level in five years, a real estate information service reported. The median price paid for a home in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties was $480,000 last month. That was up 2.3 percent from $469,000 in January and up 12.9 percent from $425,000 for February a year ago, according to DataQuick Information Systems. The previous record of $479,000 was set in November (and December). Last month's year-over-year price increase of 12.9 percent was the lowest since March 2002 when prices rose 12.7 percent to $257,000 from $228,000 a year earlier. "It's numbers like these that both bubble-theorists and market cheerleaders can pounce on to make their points," said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president. "Reality is more mundane. The frenzy is behind us, we're in a new phase of the real estate cycle and what remains to be seen is how this cycle's end g...