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O.C. home sales dip 4.2 percent in February

A total of 1,903 properties were purchased, according to DataQuick.

By Kristen SchottPublished: March 15, 2011 02:07 PM

Orange County's housing market dragged in February – a result of many buyers waiting for the best opportunity to make a purchase, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

A total of 1,903 homes sold in Orange County last month, down 4.2 percent from the same time in 2010. The number also dropped about 1.3 percent from January. For the larger Southern California region – which includes the Orange, L.A., Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties – 14,369 residences were purchased, down 6.4 percent from February 2010. The number fell 0.6 percent from January.

While the sales pace slowed last month, DataQuick President John Walsh said there is still a lot of pent-up demand in the market.

"This spring we’ll see an infusion into the market of more traditional buyers, who aren’t necessarily purchasing with an investor mindset," he said. "If the stars line up right – low prices, low mortgage rates, available credit, higher job growth and higher consumer confidence – we could see sales shoot back up to more normal levels."

Meanwhile, Orange County's median home price also declined last month, falling 1.7 percent from February 2010 to $410,000. The number dropped 1.2 percent from January.

Regionally, the median cost for a home stood at $275,000 – the number is unchanged from the same time in 2010, though it rose 1.9 percent from January.

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