Home sales in Los Angeles County rose by 2.8 percent in March, compared to the same month a year ago, while prices dipped by 4.4 percent, a real estate information service announced Tuesday.
A total of 6,772 homes changed hands locally last month, compared to 6,590 in March 2011, according to La Jolla-based DataQuick. The median price of a home in Los Angeles County in March was $306,000, down from $320,000 in March 2011.
In Orange County, 2,856 homes were sold in March, up 9.2 percent from March 2011, when 2,615 were sold. The median home price was $400,000 last month, down 7 percent from $430,000 in March 2011.
A total of 19,953 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in March, according to DataQuick. That was up 28.1 percent from 15,573 in February, and up 2.8 percent from 19,412 in March 2011.
"The year is young and lots could still change, but the results from the first big sales month of 2012 suggest the market is stuck in low gear," said John Walsh, DataQuick president. "This remains a very gradual—not to mention fragile—recovery. Last month's big gain in sales from February was seasonal. A lot more people get out and shop after the holidays and as spring approaches."
The median price for a Southern California home was $280,000 last month, up 5.8 percent from $264,750 in February but down 0.2 percent from $280,000 in March 2011, according to DataQuick.