The May 2009 Ventura County home sales were announced by Dataquick today. Sales came in at 797 which was up 10.1% MoM and up 12.6% YoY. The median sale price came in at $355,000 which was up 4.4% MoM and down 18.4% YoY. The median price is heavily affected by the mix of homes selling and that accounts for much of the improvement though there has been some strength on the low end due to the lack of inventory.
These sales levels are quite anemic for Ventura County. Yes there is a depressed economy but there is a large pool of buyers (renters), 5% interest rates, low down payments mortgages (FHA) and a $8,000 tax credit. I think the lack of supply in the affordable ranges is keeping the lid on any sales recovery. The foreclosure moratoriums have restricted supply which has put a lid on effective demand. Now with foreclosures slowly ramping up when that new supply hits the market it should be absorbed quite well. The moratoriums were only prolonging the pain instead of letting the market clear. The state is looking for revenues to replace the lack of capital gains by investors, with heavy investor involvement in REOs and an increased supply of REOs coming on market they could reap so much needed revenue while dealing with the issue instead of just trying to hide the issue and hoping it would go away.