Spring housing market slump for Southland home sales

VAN NUYS, Calif.

For San Fernando Valley realtor Karen Tobin, the selling of a home is a bright spot in what has been a slow spring.

"This time of year it's usually really busy," said Tobin. "Open houses every Sunday are packed with people. They're still packed with people, but people aren't jumping so quick to making the purchase, making the commitment to doing the buying right now."

Recent numbers have shown the market has hit a spring slump. According to DataQuick, which tracks homes sales, just over 18,000 homes and condos sold last month. That's down 5.5 percent from March, and a 9 percent drop from a year ago.

And in many areas, the median home price also fell from last year.

  • Los Angeles County saw a 3 percent drop to $320,000.

  • Ventura County dropped more than 6 percent to $357,500.

  • Riverside County fell 5 percent to $190,000.

  • San Bernardino County dropped nearly 2 percent to $147,500.

  • Orange County remains steady.

Tobin says she's noticed fewer "for sale" signs and more cautious buyers as both sides adjust to the sluggish market.

"The sellers have to sometimes reduce their expectations and the buyers have to just get smart about the kind of prices that they're paying," said Tobin.

However many remain optimistic that the slow recovery will continue in the housing market. Some analysts say it's still bound to be a bumpy ride.

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