The Real Deal Los Angeles

Home sales shrink in Southern California for 4th straight month

Prices dropped in November, with gains under 4% compared to 2017
By Gregory Cornfield | December 27, 2018 04:04PM

Home sales and price gains continued to tumble in November (Credit: iStock)

The Southern California housing market continued its downward slide, after a fourth straight month of stalling sales numbers and tumbling price gains.

A report from CoreLogic shows the median price of homes sold in November 2018 dropped 0.4-percent to $522,750 compared to October, and went up just 3.5 percent compared to November 2017.

The number of homes sold in November also dropped 11 percent compared to October, and 12 percent compared to last year. That’s the second-largest decline in over four years – behind only the 18-percent dip this year in September. For reference, the average change in sales between October and November for the past 30 years is an 8.5-percent decline.

“November’s slowdown affected all major price categories, including a nearly 10 percent annual drop in $1-million-plus sales, which have fallen on a year-over-year basis for three consecutive months,” said Andrew LePage, a CoreLogic analyst.

The number of homes that sold for $500,000 or more in November fell 8 percent compared with 2017, and sales of $800,000-plus homes fell 8.7 percent year-over-year.

Compared with 2017, sales below $500,000 fell 19 percent, while sales below $300,000 decreased 23 percent, and sales below $200,000 dropped 24 percent. Homes that sold for $500,000 or more accounted for 54 percent of all sales, up from 51 percent in November 2017.

In the city of Los Angeles, 14.5 percent fewer homes were sold in November compared to October, while the median price increased just 0.8 percent. L.A. also saw a 16-percent drop in homes sold compared to 2017, while prices jumped 6 percent.

Southern California’s softening market is catching up with the downward trends felt nationally. In August, annual home-price gains in the U.S. slid below 6 percent for the first time in a year, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index. Across the country, 40 percent of homes are overvalued, including in L.A., according to an earlier CoreLogic study of data in July.

Meanwhile, analysts at Redfin predict the market will slide in 2019, as inventory rises and price growth recedes. The report estimates price growth will settle around 3 percent in the first half of the new year.