Sept. 01 (Source: By Marjorie Hernandez, Ventura County Star, Calif.) - Home prices in some Ventura County cities declined nearly 5 percent in July compared to the same time last year, according to data released Wednesday by CoreLogic.
According to the data, the July home price index showed Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura prices declined 4.7 percent. The index included distressed sales such as foreclosures and bank-owned properties.
Santa Ana-based CoreLogic, which tracks U.S. real estate, fraud, mortgage application and loan performance data bases, also showed year-over-year prices fell by 0.9 percent in July compared to the same time last year and 2.2 percent in June compared to a year earlier.
Across the nation, year-over-year prices declined by 0.6 percent in July compared to the same time last year, excluding distressed sales. However, home prices in the U.S. increased for the fourth consecutive month, including 0.8 percent in July. When comparing year-to-year home prices nationally that include distressed sales, prices dropped by 5.2 percent in July compared to the same time last year.
“While July’s numbers remained relatively positive, particularly for the nondistressed sales … seasonal influences are expected to fade in the late summer,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a news release. “At that point, the month-over-month growth will most likely turn negative. The slowdown in economic growth and increased uncertainty caused by the recent stock market volatility will continue to exert downward pressure on prices.”
Janet Dorsey, president of the Ventura County Coastal Association of Realtors, said data from the county Multiple Listing Service showed the median selling price of residential homes and condos is trending downward. However, the decrease in the median selling price as reported in the county MLS from July 2010 to July 2011, including short sales and sales of bank-owned properties, is 3 percent, compared to the 4.7 percent reported by CoreLogic, Dorsey said.
Dorsey said one of the factors contributing to the decline in county home prices is an increase in the average days a home is on the market — up 9 percent from July 2010 to July 2011.
“Increases in the days on the market will usually lead to price declines and is an indicator that buyers do not see the value they once saw in those very same homes the previous year,” Dorsey said. “Distressed sales make up a significant percentage of homes sold in Ventura County and will continue to be a factor for the foreseeable future when it comes to inventory and pricing.”
According to the CoreLogic data, areas with the highest appreciation include West Virginia, New York, Wyoming, Mississippi and the District of Columbia, which also include distressed sales.
States with the highest depreciation, including distressed sales, include Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota and Idaho.
Bill Watkins, director of the California Lutheran University Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, said Ventura County’s home price index could remain unpredictable.
Watkins said nationwide homeownership peaked in 2007 at 69 percent. The statistic is about 66 percent this year.
“I don’t think there is a strong trend in either direction for real estate,” Watkins said. “When you are having a weak recovery in general, you expect to see inconsistent data.”
Dorsey said modestly priced homes below $450,000 in the county appear to be less affected by the price declines.
She said she expects to see more pricing pressure on homes above $600,000, as the Ventura County conforming loan limit is expected to be reduced in September to about $598,000 from its current level of $729,950.
“Loans above the conforming loan limit will have higher interest rates, which affects a buyer’s ability to purchase a higher-priced home at an affordable rate,” Dorsey said. “For those who can qualify and are well-positioned to purchase a home, interest rates are phenomenal and affordability for a home on the Gold Coast of California has never been better.”
Source: By Marjorie Hernandez, Ventura County Star, Calif.
(c)2011 Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.)
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A service of YellowBrix, Inc. Publication date: 2011-09-01