County home sales dropped 20.4 percent in May - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

County home sales dropped 20.4 percent in May

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LA JOLLA (CNS) - Home sales in San Diego County dropped 20.4 percent in May, compared to the same month a year ago, while prices dipped by 4.6 percent, a real estate information service announced Monday.

A total of 3,087 homes changed hands locally last month, compared to 3,879 in May 2010, according to La Jolla-based MDA DataQuick. The median price of a home in San Diego County in May was $324,500, down from $340,000 in May 2010.

A total of 18,394 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in May, according to DataQuick. That was up 0.3 percent from 18,344 in April, and down 17.4 percent from 22,270 in May 2010.

According to DataQuick, May home sales were the lowest for the month in three years.

"A year ago we were talking about sales reaching a four-year high as buyers rushed to take advantage of expiring federal homebuyer tax credits," DataQuick President John Walsh said. "Now sales are stuck at a three-year low. The government stimulus is long gone and some of the fundamental drivers of housing demand have yet to strengthen enough to lift sales to even average levels.

"Some of the key culprits are weak job growth, tight credit and a hesitancy among potential buyers and sellers, who question whether this is the best time to make their move," he said.

The median price for a Southern California home was $280,000 last month, the same as April but down 8.2 percent from $305,000 in May 2010, according to DataQuick.

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