The Real Deal Los Angeles

The Trump slump? LA sales dropped 12 percent in Q4

Year-over-year decline was largest since 2008
By Katherine Clarke | January 26, 2017 10:30AM

Aerial view of Beverly Hills (credit: Getty Images)

The Presidential election may have sucked some air out of the L.A. residential market’s proverbial tires.

Los Angeles saw its largest year over year decline in residential sales since 2008 in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to a new report by Douglas Elliman.

Just 2,121 residential sales closed in the fourth quarter in the area surveyed by the company, including the Westside and Downtown. That’s a 12 percent drop from the same period last year.

Elliman senior vice president Colin Keenan attributed at least some of that slowdown to the “fairly intense political season,” which had some buyers retreating to the sidelines.

“Election years historically have led to cooler markets in terms of activity,” he said. “It’s hard not to look at the data and see the same pattern this year.”

A decline in overall listing inventory — 22 percent in just a year — may also have contributed to fewer sales, he said.

Still, prices held steady despite the slowdown in sales volume, Elliman’s report shows.

The median listing price for a Greater Los Angeles property hit $1.03 million in the fourth quarter, a 3 percent uptick year over year.

On the luxury end of the price spectrum — the top 10 percent of sales — the median sales price was up by 13.9 percent, to $6.21 million, while sales volume was down by 22.6 percent. A number of mega-sales, including for the Playboy Mansion, may have dragged up price averages.

Keenan said he believes activity is already bouncing back following the inauguration.

“Things have started to pick up very quickly,” he said. “It feels like there’s pent-up energy in the market.”