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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Low SoCal inventory has homebuyers writing love letters to sellers, entering bidding wars

Real estate agents report heavy buyer demand across LA County
April 26, 2017 12:00PM

“House For Sale” sign (Getty Images)

As Southern California’s real estate prices continue to climb and inventory remains low, homebuyers are getting increasingly creative in their quest to close deals.

Some are penning letters to sellers describing how much they want the home, while others are bidding more than $100,000 over ask before the open house, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Buyer Elizabeth Rodriguez and her husband said they wrote “love letters” to sellers describing how much they wanted to buy their homes and even offered $102,000 above the $798,000 list price for one Spanish-style home in Mount Washington. Even still, they lost out on the property to another bidder. All in all, they bid on 11 homes before finally securing a Glassell Park pad for way above its asking price.

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said he’s concerned about the spike in home prices at the lower-end of the market but said the rise differs from the overheated days of the market before the housing crash in 2008.

Home prices rose at a faster pace than rents during the housing bubble, indicating reckless lending and not economic fundamentals, he told the Times. Now, prices and rents in Southern California are largely rising in tandem.

“It really is a shortage of housing,” Baker said. [LAT] — Subrina Hudson