RIVERSIDE - Homes sales in Riverside County dropped 23.7 percent in September, compared to the same month a year ago, while prices increased 8.1 percent during the same period, a real estate information service reported today.
A total of 3,292 homes changed hands locally last month, compared to 4,312 in September 2009, according to La Jolla-based MDA DataQuick. The median price of a home in Riverside County in September was $200,000, compared to $185,000 in the same month a year ago.
A total of 18,091 new and resale houses and condos sold in the six- county Southern California region -- Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties -- in September, according to DataQuick. That was down 2.4 percent from 18,541 in August, and down 16 percent from 21,539 in September 2009.
The month marked the slowest September since 2007, when 12,455 homes were sold, according to DataQuick.
``Today's market can be characterized as much by activity that's not happening, as by the activity that is happening,'' said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president. ``We're seeing distress-selling, bargain-hunting and entry- level buying, while the rest of the market is still largely on hold.
``As many wait for this market uncertainty and turbulence to pass, demand is being generated and is accumulating,'' he said. ``At some point, the mortgage spigot will be re-opened and there will be a surge of buying activity, probably financed with low interest rates.''
The median price for a Southern California home was $295,500 last month, up 2.6 percent from $288,000 in August, and up 7.5 percent from $275,000 in September 2009, according to DataQuick.