Southern California house and condominium prices fell 33% in May from a year earlier as foreclosures dominated sales, MDA DataQuick said Wednesday.

The median price dropped to $249,000, from $370,000 a year earlier, the San Diego research company said.

The number of new and resale homes sold increased 23%, to 20,775, from 16,917 a year earlier in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties.

Sales of foreclosed homes accounted for half of all transactions involving previously owned properties in May, MDA DataQuick said.

Foreclosure sales have begun to slow, with such resales down from 54% in April and a peak of 57% in February, the company said.

MDA DataQuick is a unit of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. of Richmond, British Columbia.

The research unit compiles surveys using county records and supplies real estate information to customers including government agencies, mortgage lenders and title companies.

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