AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre The region’s median home price last month fell to $444,000, down 3.9 percent from September and 8 percent from October 2006, DataQuick said. The figure marked the lowest median price since April 2005. Riverside County posted the sharpest drop, declining 15.1 percent from the year-ago period to $350,000. The price in San Bernardino County fell 9.6 percent to $330,000. Los Angeles County’s median home price dropped 3.8 percent to $500,000. The last time the county saw the figure decline on a year-over-year basis was March of 1997 when it dropped .03 percent. Orange County posted an 8.2 percent decline to $573,750. Southern California home sales plunged last month to the lowest level for October in more than 20 years, with many potential buyers scared away by falling prices in all six counties surveyed, a real estate data firm said Wednesday. In all, 12,999 new and resale homes were sold last month in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, down 45.3 percent from 23,745 in the year-ago month, according to DataQuick Information Systems. “A lot of potential buyers seem to be waiting this one out,” Marshall Prentice, president of DataQuick, said in a statement. “It’s hard to buy a home when you think it might lose value, especially when you have to borrow money to do it.” Sales climbed by 4.4 percent from September, but it was still the slowest October since DataQuick began keeping records in 1988. The previous low came in October 1992, when 16,887 homes were sold. The October sales average is 24,725 homes. October’s drop followed another 20-year record decline for September. Turmoil in the mortgage industry due to rising loan defaults has contributed to the slump. Many lenders have tightened underwriting guidelines, closing off access to affordable financing for many buyers who would have qualified for a loan just a few months ago. Lenders also have cut back on so-called jumbo loans exceeding $417,000 – the limit on the amount that government-backed mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will buy from lenders. Those restrictions have stung would-be buyers in Southern California, where homes often sell for more than $417,000.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!