Your real estate data point of the day January 20, 2009 at 5:08 am

Walls

One of the points I have repeatedly mentioned is that it did not take a very large fall in house prices to create the credit crunch. Contagion and widespread bank stress had begun by early 2007 despite falls at that point of only 10% or so nationwide. But of course the falls in the worst affected areas – including Florida, Nevada, and California – were rather worse. And since 2007, as Bloomberg points out, things have got quite a lot worse. In particular rising volumes of foreclosures are driving steep price falls:

A total of 19,926 new and existing houses and condos sold last month in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties, up from 13,240 a year earlier… The median home price in the region fell 35 percent to $278,000…

Foreclosed homes accounted for 56 percent of Southern California’s December sales, more than double the amount a year earlier, MDA DataQuick said.

Such transactions made up almost 70 percent of sales in Riverside County, where the median price plummeted 41 percent to $209,000. Sales jumped 77 percent to 4,435, MDA DataQuick said.

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