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Last month’s sales of new and previously owned houses and condominiums fell 12 percent to 14,027 properties from 15,945 a year earlier, said La Jolla-based DataQuick. That’s the lowest number since February 2008 when only 10,777 homes were sold.

By Gregory J. Wilcox, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 03/12/14, 9:47 PM PDT | Updated: 20 secs ago

Prices for sold homes increased again, but tight inventory and the continuing decline in distressed properties combined to stagnate homebuying activity across Southern California in February as sales dropped to their lowest level for the month in six years, a market tracker said on Wednesday.

Last month sales of new and previously owned houses and condominiums fell 12 percent to 14,027 properties from 15,945 a year earlier, said La Jolla-based DataQuick. That’s the lowest number since February 2008 when only 10,777 homes were sold.

Sales fell in all six of the region’s counties, with the declines ranging from 22 percent in Ventura County to 6 percent in San Bernardino. The median price of homes rose 20 percent to $383,000 from $320,000 a year ago, DataQuick said.

The median sale price has risen on a year-over-year basis for 23 consecutive months and the gains have been double-digit — between 10.8 percent and 28.3 percent — over the past 19 months, DataQuick said.

“February was another month with lackluster home sales. The March-through-May data will give us a better sense of what’s been holding back activity the most — supply constraints or the double whammy of higher prices and higher mortgage rates,” DataQuick President John Walsh said in a statement.

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