More homes selling for more money across Southern California

Southern California’s housing market displayed renewed vigor in April, with sales rising 8.5 percent compared to the same time last years, according to home sales data released Tuesday.

Sales and prices increased in all six Southern California counties, CoreLogic announced in its monthly sales report.

Last month sales of new and previously owned houses and condominiums increased from 20,008 to 21,708 year over year, the company said.

Sales last month were the second highest for the month of April since 2006.

“Sales activity picked up last month, making it one of the stronger Aprils since the housing bust, though sales remained below average,” said Andrew LePage, a data analyst for CoreLogic. “Many buyers still face credit and affordability hurdles, and the inventory of homes for sale remains relatively tight in many markets. New home construction is still well below historically normal levels, too.”

Last month, the median price increased 6 percent from $404,000 to $429.000. That’s the highest median price for the region since November 2007, when it was $435,000.

The median sale price has risen year over year in every month since April 2012.

In Los Angeles County sales increased 6 percent from 6,642 a year ago to 7,038. The median price increased 10 percent from $441,000 to $485,000.

In San Bernardino County sales rose from 2,434 to 2,446, the smallest gain in the region. The median price increased 5 percent from $240,000 to $252,500. The county remains the region’s lowest priced market.

The price gains continue to reflect sales of more expensive homes dominating the market and a lack of bargains as the economy continues healing from the Great Recession.

During April sales of homes costing $500,000 or more accounted for 39 percent market share, the most for any month since a 40 percent share in November 2007.

Foreclosure sales accounted for a 4.5 percent share and short sales at 4 percent of the share.

San Bernardino County’s short sale share of 7.6 percent was the highest among the six counties.

Absentee buyers — mostly investors — purchased 24 percent of the homes sold in April while cash buyers also accounted for a 24 percent share.

By Gregory J. Wilcox, Los Angeles Daily News

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