In L.A.’s luxury market, supply is outstripping demand: report

Prices softened across high-end markets in most neighborhoods

Oct.October 25, 2018 10:00 AM
Homes in Malibu (Credit: iStock)

The pace of the high-end housing market in Los Angeles continued to slow in the third quarter, reflecting a similar pattern to other quarters so far this year.

The median sales price for a single-family luxury home fell 7.5 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, to $8.6 million, according to the third quarter report from Douglas Elliman. Elliman ranks as “luxury” any high-end home with a sale price in the upper 10 percent of all its listings.

The fall-off wasn’t enough to muster more demand from buyers, who closed just 82 sales in the last quarter, down more than 16 percent from last year.

Stephen Kotler, CEO of Elliman’s Western region, said the results are in line with what his firm had been expecting.

“People are pausing a bit,” Kotler said. “It’s starting to become more of a buyer’s market. There is probably going to be a new norm.”

In the non-luxury market, the median sales price in L.A. County, primarily Westside and Downtown, rose 5.9 percent year-over-year to $1.53 million. But sales in the segment dropped 8.7 percent to 1,601 homes.

Inventory increased across the board.

In the luxury market, there were 438 homes on the market, up 16 percent from last year. It also took about 16 months on average for a home to sell, nearly 40 percent longer than during the same time last year.

The uptick in inventory is likely due to the completion of new homes that were planned two to three years ago, when the luxury market was in full swing.

Sales in Malibu, one of the county’s hottest submarkets, remained fairly strong, even as the price for a single-family home dropped 11.5 percent to $2.7 million. Meanwhile, the median sales price of a single-family home in the Hollywood Hills, Santa Monica and Westwood all increased.

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