Southern California home sales soared a record 65 percent in September from the record lows during the same month last year, according to real estate data company MDA DataQuick, with resales of foreclosure properties accounting for half of all transactions. The median home price, meanwhile, plunged 33.2 percent year-over-year in September.

DataQuick reported 20,497 that new and resale homes closed escrow in September, compared to 12,455 in September 2007, when the credit crunch bit heavily into the jumbo loans market. The monthly sales total was the highest since December 2006 and represents the largest year-over-year gain in the history of DataQuick’s statistics, which date back as far as 1988.

John Walsh, president of MDA DataQuick, said in a statement that the sales data must be viewed "in the proper context," as the data represents purchase decisions that were made in the mid-to-late summer — prior to "the dramatic worsening of the nation’s economic crisis … Over the next few weeks our sales data will begin to show how the meltdown in financial markets this fall has impacted housing demand."

Sales were up 106.1 percent in Riverside County, up 87.6 percent in San Bernardino County, up 62.3 percent in Orange County, up 56.4 percent in San Diego County, up 43.9 percent in Los Angeles County, and up 38.8 percent in Ventura County in September compared to the same month last year. The median price, meanwhile, fell 36.9 percent in San Bernardino County, 36.8 percent in Riverside County, 31.4 percent in Los Angeles County, 30.2 percent in San Diego County, 29.4 percent in Ventura County and 25.4 percent in Orange County year-over-year in September.

Foreclosure activity was at or near record levels for the six-county Southern California region tracked by DataQuick.



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