Realty Check

Southern California Real Estate Going South

Map of California

La Jolla-based DataQuick is out with the latest stats on Southern California, and it's darned near ugly. Home sales are at their lowest since the mid 1990s. Sales in LA, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties were down 11.4% from last month and down 27.4% from July 2006.

The president of DataQuick, Marshall Prentice, calls it a "post-frenzy rebalancing act." That's because there's no broader economic slowdown, no local recession. Prices, however, aren't moving much. The median price of a SoCal home inched up to $505,000 last month, which is the same as the record-high back in March, April and May. That price is up 3.7% from July of last year. But DataQuick says if you adjust for changes in the market, that is fewer lower-cost homes selling now, price changes are actually in the negative, down 3.7% in July from a year ago.

Not surprisingly, foreclosure rates in the area are up again. Foreclosure resales accounted for 8.3% of July sales, up from 7.7% in June and up from 2% in July of 2006 (ouch). Thanks to Peter Viles of for the heads up to all this!