Home sales in Southern California picked up slightly in October, despite market uncertainty and reduced availability of jumbo mortgage loans, according to statistics compiled by DataQuick Information Systems.

The 12,999 homes sold in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties during October represented a 4.4 percent increase from the previous month.

But it was still the slowest October since DataQuick began collecting statistics in 1988, with sales down 45.3 percent from a year ago. Over the past 20 years, October sales have averaged 24,725 homes.

San Bernardino County saw the sharpest drop in year-over-year sales volume — 54.8 percent — while sales in San Diego County were off by 32.5 percent.

The median sales price for the region fell 8 percent, to $444,000, DataQuick reported — the lowest since April 2005 when it was $440,000. Riverside County saw the sharpest year-over-year decline (down 15.1 percent, to $350,000) and Los Angeles the smallest (3.8 percent, to $500,000).

Sales of homes with conforming loans of $417,000 or less have seen a normal seasonal drop of 20 percent since the summer, while sales of homes requiring “jumbo” loans have dropped by 60 percent, DataQuick said.

After adjusting for the shift in the mix of homes that are actually selling — more lower-priced houses, and fewer higher-priced homes with jumbo loans — prices are down a more modest 6.7 percent from a year ago.

“We can expect the issues with jumbo financing to slowly resolve themselves,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president, in a press release. “Meanwhile, demand is accumulating and when the market does level off, there will be a catch-up period.”

Source: DataQuick Information Systems

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