Home sales drop while prices rise

RIVERSIDE – Home sales in Riverside County dropped by 11.6 percent in September, compared to the same month a year ago, while prices rose by 11.3 percent, a real estate information service announced today.

A total of 2,920 homes changed hands in Riverside County last month, compared to 3,303 in September 2011, according to DataQuick. The median price of a home in Riverside County in September was $212,500, up from $191,000 in September 2011.

A total of 17,859 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in September, according to DataQuick. That was down 20.4 percent from 22,438 in August, and down 1.6 percent from 18,149 in September 2011.

The median price for a Southern California home was $315,000 last month, up 1.9 percent from $309,000 in August and up 12.5 percent from $280,000 in September 2011.

”The latest stats suggest unbelievable low mortgage rates and modestly higher consumer confidence continue to put pressure on a supply-starved housing market,” DataQuick President John Walsh said. ”We can’t stress enough, though, that the median sale price and other price measures reflect more than just rising home values. There’s been a major change in market mix, meaning fewer low-priced sales, fewer foreclosures re-selling and more sales in middle and upscale markets.”

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