California home sales, prices drop, including in the Southland

Home for sale.
Home for sale. Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Home sales fell about 4 percent in California last month compared to the previous month. On the upside, the numbers are still an improvement over last year. Things aren't quite as bright locally, with Southland home sales and prices down compared to a year ago.

The California Association of Realtors says more than 458,000 single-family homes sold in the Golden State in July. That’s about 20,000 fewer than June, but it’s 20,000 more than last July.

Despite the year-over-year improvement, the Association’s economists expected a stronger showing, given current mortgage rates and falling home prices. Their analysis: economic uncertainty and turmoil in the financial markets has caused prospective homebuyers to hesitate, and that could continue to show up in the numbers for months.

In the Southland, sales in Los Angeles took the biggest month-to-month drop – 16 percent from June to July. In Riverside County, the decline was nearly 15 percent.

In L.A. County sales dropped nearly 5 percent in July compared to the same month a year ago. Prices fell just over 5 percent as well. MDA DataQuick figures indicate the median price of a home in L.A. in July was $320,000, down from $339,000 last July.

Orange County fared a little better – sales there were down 2.8 percent with the median home price around $437,000, down from $450,000 in July of 2010.

Riverside saw a steep drop in sales, down 6.8 percent, with July prices falling 5 percent from a year ago. The median price of a home in that county was $190,000 compared to $200,000 last July.

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