Southern California home sales decline, hitting lowest level in seven years

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image14115451Southern California home sales tumbled 7.5% in October from a year earlier, extending a broad slowdown in the housing market, according to a report released Thursday by CoreLogic.

Last month was the third straight month of declines, and the 19,193 homes that sold were the lowest number for an October since 2011, before the housing market took off on its multi-year upswing.

Real estate agents trace the sale declines to buyers’ being increasingly tapped out by a combination of rising mortgage rates and years of steady price hikes. Buyers who can afford to pay more fear investing money at what might be the top of the market.

As a result, homes are sitting longer and more sellers are scaling back ambitions.

Seventeen percent of L.A. County listings on Zillow had at least one price cut in October, the greatest percentage in at least eight years. The number of listings was up 30.5%. …

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