Buyer reluctance and tight lending standards last month continued to suppress home sales and prices in Inland Southern California, with investors and cash buyers playing an extraordinarily important role.
Home sales rose from November to December, following a normal seasonal trend. But the 3,584 homes sold in Riverside County last month was 3 percent less than in December 2010, and the median price of $194,000 — where half sold for more and half for less — also showed a 3 percent year-to-year drop.
San Bernardino County saw the biggest percent sales decline in the six-county Southern California region, a year-to-year drop of 7.2 percent to 2,418 sales in December. The median price of homes sold last month in San Bernardino County was $150,000, or 1.3 percent lower than a year earlier.
“Last year ended much the way it began, with pitifully low new-home sales, record investor activity, tight credit and lots of potential buyers and sellers just sitting tight,” said John Walsh, president of DataQuick, which on Tuesday released the December housing market figures for Southern California.
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Category: Southern California