Rising prices and interest rates led to the slowest September for existing home and condo sales in Southern California in over a decade.
A total of 17,369 homes sold last month, the lowest level since 2007 and 21.8 percent lower than historical averages for the month, according to the latest data from CoreLogic. The report looked at sales in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties.
Compared to last year, there was a 17.7 percent dip across the region. Sales dropped on a monthly basis as well — the 21.9 percent drop from August is more than twice the 9.8 percent average drop seen between those months. That continues a rare slowing trend over the summer that has been seen just five times in the last 20 years.
The dips in Los Angeles County were more dramatic. Sales fell 19.3 percent year-over-year and 25 percent month-over-month. The median sales price was $595,000, up 3.5 percent year-over-year.
Regionally, the data on sales prices reflects slowing growth. The median sales price for the month was $523,000, down from the all-time high of $537,000 seen in June. While prices are still higher than a year ago, the gain from September 2017 was the smallest seen in three years. CoreLogic said that represents a cooler market and a higher percentage of total sales in more affordable areas of the region.
Mortgage rates are climbing around the country as the Federal Reserve hikes the benchmark interest rate. Mortgage rates hit nearly 5 percent this month — the highest level in seven years — forcing some prospective buyers to pull back.