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Home sales rise in L.A. County

11/14/2011, 5 p.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--Home sales in Los Angeles County jumped by 6.6 percent in October, compared to the same month a year ago, while prices dipped by 7.7 percent, a real estate information service announced today.

A total of 5,830 homes changed hands locally last month, compared to 5,470 in October 2010, according to La Jolla-based DataQuick. The median price of a home in Los Angeles County in October was $300,000, down from $325,000 in October 2010.

In Orange County, 2,241 homes were sold in October, down 2.5 percent from October 2010, when 2,298 were sold. The median home price was $405,000 last month, down 7.5 percent from $438,000 in October 2010.

A total of 16,829 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in October, according to DataQuick. That was down 7.3 percent from 18,149 in September, but up 0.5 percent from 16,744 in October 2010.

"For a few months now, lower prices and amazingly low mortgage rates have kept resale activity slightly ahead of last year," DataQuick President John Walsh said. "Of course, that's not saying a lot when you consider sales were 25 to 30 percent below average. The market continues to struggle with a difficult lending environment, uncertainty among potential buyers, underwater homeowners who can't move up and a weak job market."

The median price for a Southern California home was $270,000 last month, down 3.6 percent from $280,000 in September and down 4.6 percent from $283,000 in October 2010, according to DataQuick.