Home sales in Orange County rose by 9.2 percent in March, compared to the same month a year ago, while prices fell by 7 percent, a real estate information service announced this week.
A total of 2,856 homes changed hands locally last month, compared to 2,615 in March 2011, according to La Jolla-based DataQuick. The median price of a home in Orange County in March was $400,000, down from $430,000 in March 2011.
In Los Angeles County, 6,772 homes were sold in March, up 2.8 percent from March 2011, when 6,590 were sold. The median home price was $306,000 last month, down 4.4 percent from $320,000 in March 2011.
A total of 19,953 new and resale houses and condos sold in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura and San Bernardino 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.