Home sales in Southern California were down for the 11th straight month in October, slowing to the weakest sales pace in a decade, a real estate information service reported today.

A total of 22,117 new and resale homes sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month, down 2.4 percent from 22,654 in September, and down 22.4 percent from 28,489 for October a year ago, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

DataQuick reported that last month’s sales count was the lowest for any October since 1996 when 18,505 homes were sold, as sales for the month have ranged from 14,608 in 1991 to 32,522 in 2003.

“It’s harder to buy a home if you think it might go down in value than it is if you’re convinced it’s going up. Buyers are taking their time, trying to wait out the uncertainty in a market that is rebalancing itself. Additionally, many potential buyers are in the move-up category, and they have their own home they need to sell,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

The median price paid for a Southland home was $484,000 last month, the same as in September, but up 2.3 percent from $473,000 for October a year ago. Year-over-year increases have been in the single digits for seven months and are expected to be slightly negative by the end of the year or early next year.

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