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Foreclosures Fly, New Home Sales Suffer

Foreclosures are the place to be. Low-priced, bank-owned homes are selling briskly, says market research firm MDA DataQuick. Newly-built homes, on the other hand, are sitting on the sidelines.

Home sales were up 50% year-over-year in Southern California in December for a total of 19,900. It was still the 5th slowest December on record. In some counties 70% of sales were foreclosures. Only 1,800 of the homes sold were newly-built ones—the lowest number in the company’s statistical database.

“The builders are in a holding pattern, staying alive until the market recovers,” says John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president. The most active lenders to Southern California home buyers were Countrywide, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

The median price paid was $278,000 last month. In mid-2007 it was $505,000.

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