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Back To Normal? Investors' Exit Could Stabilize Home Prices

LOS ANGELES ( — Southern California's housing market could be normalizing following the apparent exit of big investors, according to one industry analyst.

KNX 1070's Ed Mertz reports home sales across the Southland hit a five-year high for September, rising slightly above a year earlier for the first time in 12 months amid gains for mid- to high-end deals.

Back To Normal? Investors' Exit Could Stabilize Home Prices

A total of 19,348 new and resale houses and condos were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month, according to CoreLogic DataQuick data.

That marks a jump of just under 3 percent from 18,796 sales in August, and up 1.2 percent from 19,112 sales in September 2013.

Despite the increase, however, the market overall remains about 20 percent below average for the month of September.

Historically, sales have fallen over 9 percent during every period between August and September since 1988, according to records dating back to the founding of CoreLogic DataQuick.

Last month marked the first time sales have risen on a year-over-year basis since September last year, when sales rose 7.0 percent from September 2012.

But analyst Andrew Lapage with Corelogic says most of those investors who have been buying with all cash offers are pretty much gone.

"That kind of speaks why markets are calmer right now," said Lapage.

Buyers paying all cash accounted for 24.3 percent of September home sales, down from a revised 24.5 percent in August and down from 28.7 percent in September last year, according to Lapage.

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