Housing prices down, sales up

Prices are down – so sales are up. It works that way in just about every business – and real estate is no different. KPCC’s Nick Roman has the April housing sales numbers from the California Association of Realtors.

Nick Roman: Housing prices over the last year are down nearly 44 percent in the Inland Empire, down 31 percent in L.A. County, down almost 27 percent in Orange County. But percentages mean nothing. What matters are dollars – so the house priced at the Inland Empire median of $157,000 is $68,000 cheaper than it was a year ago.

The realtors’ association says home prices might be as low as they’re gonna go – and first-time homebuyers are jumping in. April sales in the Inland Empire were double what they were a year ago. They’re up 43 percent in L.A. County – but up only 13 percent in Orange County.

Homes are more expensive there – and getting a big loan is tough. The California Association of Realtors says that’s why the inventory of homes above a million dollars is up to 17 months. But for houses under a half-million dollars, sales are booming – and the inventory is down to only three months.