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Southern California housing market falters in November

December 15, 2010 |  9:57 am

Sales of Southern California homes swooned in November, and gains in the median home price decelerated considerably, according to data released Tuesday.

With a moribund market for new homes, constricted lending by big banks and the weak economy dampening the prospects of buyers, sales fell to their second-lowest level for a November in at least 18 years, according to San Diego research firm MDA DataQuick.

A total of 16,208 new and previously owned houses and condominiums sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was a 15.5% drop from November 2009 and the lowest level for a November since 2007, the firm said.

The median price paid for a home in the region increased for the 12th consecutive month, to $287,000, in November. But that 0.7% increase over November 2009 was the weakest annual gain since last December, when prices began rising year over year.

The median, which is the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less, was up 1.4% from the prior month.

-- Alejandro Lazo