Pent-up demand and lower mortgages to thank
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/22/2013 -- In Southern California, the real estate market has had its strongest February in over a half-decade, as the total of homes sold to absentee buyers and “move-up” market gained in overall momentum. The total, in fact, reached record highs.
There were nearly 16,000 sales for new and resale homes and condos across Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino, and Orange counties. That tallied a 1% rise since February 2012, when 15,780 sales were earned in the six-county region.
“We are at a six-year high since the start of the year,” said DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage.
Even with that taken into consideration, sales for the Inland declined, falling almost 6% in San Bernardino and Riverside county to under 5,000 and just over 5,000 respectively.
Realtors have noted that the blame for the decline likely sites amid pent-up demand, increased consumer confidence, and the lower mortgage lending rates. The upshot of the sparse pickings has been the teeter-totter effect, which pushed the February median of overall home sale prices up over 18%.
That median in Riverside jumped up to $228,000 from $193,000 in February 2012. In San Bernardino, the median climbed by nearly $175,000 from $148,000 in 2011.
Traditional buyers and sellers did drop out of the market nearer to the holidays, leaving the field open to a higher concentration of customers who included investors. The Riverside County area saw 38.4% of all home and condo sales become allocated to absentee and second-home buyers during February. That was a record for the entirety of the data being kept, which is just over a decade.
The percentage of cash buyers also rose, with February data showing a near-record cash-buy level of 41.3% in Riverside, and a 40.6% rise in San Bernardino.
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