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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOME SALES UP 10.1 PERCENT IN APRIL, ACCORDING TO THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE OBSERVER

 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOME SALES UP 10.1 PERCENT IN APRIL,
 ACCORDING TO THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE OBSERVER
 RUNNING SPRINGS, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California home sales totaled 15,814 in April, up 10.1 percent from March's 14,370 but down 5.7 percent from 16,770 in April 1991, according to a new real estate industry newsletter.
 The median price paid for a single-family resale house in Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties was $186,000 last month, the same as the month before. That was off 2.6 percent from $191,000 in April 1991, according to the Southern California Real Estate Observer.
 The overall numbers hide pockets of increased activity as well as areas with severe sales slowdowns.
 Sales of small houses with less than 1,250-square-feet of space, for example, are up by around 30 percent compared to last year. Sales of typical move-up houses; houses with more than 2,250-square-feet, are off by 25 percent and prices for them have come down significantly, according to the Observer.
 Condo sales are off from last year except for Riverside and Ventura counties. Sales volume in the second-home market is off, although the second homes that are selling are higher-priced.
 The Southern California Real Estate Observer is a six-to-eight page monthly newsletter that draws a detailed picture of current Southland sales trends by volume, price range, category and geographic area.
 "Until now, this was the type of information that corporate execs in the industry bought for planning purposes," said John Karevoll, editor and publisher of the Observer.
 "There's such a gap between perception and reality in real estate. Now is not the time to make buying or selling decisions based on what you think. You really do have to know what you're doing," he said.
 While Orange County as a whole is seeing lower sales levels than last year, affordable areas like Westminster, Garden Grove and Buena Park have seen sales jump the past few months, according to the Observer.
 Sales are off in Lake Forest and Irvine.
 In Los Angeles County, home sales in Agoura Hills, Rosemead and Arcadia are well ahead of last year while April sales were off significantly in the Bell/Compton area as well as in Inglewood, Canoga Park and Van Nuys.
 In the Inland Empire, home sales in Corona, Redlands and Rancho Cucamonga are on the rise, while volume is off in Colton and in the city areas of San Bernardino and Riverside.
 Sales volume in San Diego County is up, especially in North County areas like Carlsbad and Vista.
 While the newsletter gets its data from many different sources, information on sales trends is acquired from La Jolla-based Dataquick Information Systems. An annual subscription to the Southern California Real Estate Observer is $145.
 Other topics briefly covered in the first issue include lender approval rates, the refi frenzy, Jerry Brown's rent deduction and East Coast business reporters who bash California real estate.
 Upcoming topics include market bottom-feeding, nasty appraisals, tight-fisted lenders and non-agent sales.
 -0- 5/21/92
 /CONTACT: John Karevoll of the Southern California Real Estate Observer, 714-867-7656/ CO: Southern California Real Estate Observer ST: California IN: PUB SU:


EH -- LA028 -- 3053 05/21/92 16:40 EDT
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Date:May 21, 1992
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