July home sales in the state of California were down 19.9 percent from June and 21.9 percent from a year ago, ""MDA DataQuick"":http://www.dataquick.com reports.
[IMAGE] In the Bay Area, home sales for that month dropped sharply to their lowest level in 15 years, down 22.8 percent from July 2009. Southern California was also pummeled with its biggest year-over-year drop in more than two years, down 21.4 percent from last year.
""There's been a pause in the market,"" said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president. ""Some potential buyers -[COLUMN_BREAK]
including those who held off until the tax credits expired - will take their time to assess market conditions, searching for signs of renewed price cuts. Depending on the economy and other factors, that might be what some of them find, especially in areas with a growing number of homes for sale - particularly distressed properties.""
An estimated 35,202 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month - 6,773 in the Bay Area and 18,946 in Southern California.
On the positive end, the median price paid for a home last month in California was $268,000, a 7.2 percent increase from July 2009. Following 27 months of year-over-year decline, this year-over-year increase was the ninth in a row. Bay Area home prices are up 1.8 percent, and Southern California prices are up 10.1 percent from a year ago.
The number of transactions involving foreclosures has also decreased. Of the existing homes sold last month, 35.6 percent were properties that were foreclosed on during the past year, down from 43.5 percent in July 2009.
While foreclosure activity is off peak levels, it still remains historically high, according to MDA DataQuick.