Southern California’s housing market extended its slump as sales hit the lowest level for a January in three years and the median home price dropped year over year for the first time since fall 2009.
The price declines, which were steepest in the Inland Empire, were driven by a shift toward sales of cheaper properties and foreclosures as investors and all-cash buyers trolled the market. Real estate agents said many potential “retail shoppers” — those buyers who would like a home to live in — simply didn’t qualify for a loan.
“Credit is too tight,” said Michael Novak-Smith, a real estate agent in Moreno Valley who specializes in foreclosures. “You have a lot of people who want to buy houses, but they can’t.”
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