From utsandiego.com:

San Diego County finished the spring-homebuying season in positive territory in prices and sales among all types of housing, Wednesday’s DataQuick report showed. Single-family home resales, in particular, closed out a blockbuster month in May.

The overall median price in May rose 3.2 percent from a year ago to $335,000, matching the median 18 months ago. When compared to April, prices rose 1.7 percent.

The county recorded 3,750 total sales last month, rising 21.5 percent from a year ago and 5.4 percent month-to-month.

Sales saw the most strength in the single-family resale segment, where buyers closed on 2,488 homes. That’s the highest figure for this category since September 2005, when 2,671 were sold, according to DataQuick stats. All regions of the county showed positive sales changes when compared to a year ago.

The real estate tracker reported home sales picked up across Southern California, especially in coastal regions, “where move-up markets have picked up steam,” this month’s analysis said.

More than 22 percent of recorded Southern California sales in May were $500,000 and up. That share is up from 21 percent the previous month and a year ago, DataQuick analysts found.

“May’s share of sales above $500,000 was the highest since July 2010, when they also made up 22.4 percent of the market,” the report added. The percentage of homes sold in Southern California that surpassed the $500,000 market was at its lowest in January 2009, when it was 13.8 percent.

According to DataQuick, other reasons that may explain May’s increase in sales and prices include:

  • An extra business day this May.
  • Fewer foreclosure resales and short sales. Their share of the market in SoCal fell to 44.8 percent, the lowest level in more than four years.
  • Record low mortgage rates that have fallen to new lows for the past six straight weeks. According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed rate is at 3.67 percent, while the 15-year fixed rate is at 2.94 percent.

Do May’s numbers indicate a bottoming out of the market?

“The market is being slowly nursed back to health by low interest rates, a modestly improved economy and, we suspect, a widening sense that the housing sector is at or near bottom,” said DataQuick President  John Walsh, in a statement.

“There’s still plenty of uncertainty swirling around out there,” he added. “But it looks like more move-up buyers are concluding it makes sense in the long run to sell their homes now, even when it’s hard to swallow the price. The upside for many is a good deal on the next house, and the ability to lock in both a killer mortgage rate and a relatively low property tax base.”

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