Sales from Los Angeles Foreclosure Listings Fell, Prices Up- By: John Cutts
As sales from Los Angeles foreclosure listings fell in March, home prices in the Los Angeles metro area increased.
In the Southern California region, which includes the counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange and Ventura, the percentage of bank repo houses for sale that closed and other types of distressed sales dropped significantly from almost 55 percent in March 2009 to around 38 percent of total home resales in March this year.
The median sales price for homes in Los Angeles County surged to $329,000 in March this year, a jump of 9.6 percent from $300,000 in March 2009. Total house sales also increased in the county to 6,747 units, up by 13 percent from 5,971 units in March last year.
All in all, the median sales price in Southern California increased year-over-year by 14 percent in March, as more higher-priced homes got sold during the month and as fewer properties from Los Angeles foreclosure listings were purchased.
The total number of residential units sold in Southern California in March surged by five percent year-over-year to over 20,000 units, marking the 21st consecutive month that sales of homes rose from their total numbers in March last year.
Foreclosure properties in California also accounted for a large part of Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation foreclosures over the past several months. For its April auctions in the West, Freddie Mac offered almost 300 foreclosed houses in Southern California and in Las Vegas. Freddie decided to hold auctions to sell off its properties before the expiration of the federal tax credits at the end of the month. Both Fannie and Freddie continue to repossess an increasing number of properties as the number of mortgages they guarantee has been rising rapidly.
In December last year, the stock of foreclosed homes in the books of Freddie Mac increased by 54 percent to 45,047 units. The foreclosure inventory of fellow government-sponsored mortgage enterprise Fannie Mae was higher at 86,155 units, marking a jump of 36 percent from its total foreclosure inventory in December 2008, based on documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Throughout the four quarters last year, real estate owned properties held by Freddie increased from the first-quarter total 29,145 units. Freddie Mac expects the number of repossessed properties in its books to continue rising in the coming months and also to continue comprising a large number of properties in Los Angeles foreclosure listings.
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John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.