Home sales in SoCal drop to lowest level since recession: report

The number of closed deals fell 20 percent from 2017 to 2018

(Credit: iStock)
(Credit: iStock)

Signs of a looming correction in Los Angeles’ housing market became even more evident in December, as the number of sales plunged to their lowest level in almost a decade.

There were 5,291 home sales last month, a 20.3 percent decline from 2017, according to a new report from CoreLogic. That’s the lowest level for a December since the recession, and the largest percentage drop since 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Price growth rate is also on the decline. The median price for the six counties in the region grew just 1.1 percent year over year to $515,000 — the smallest price increase since April 2012.

In L.A. County, the hike was slightly greater, rising 2 percent to $581,500.

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One reason for the sharp drop-off in sales could be attributed to a steep decline in high-end sales, CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage told the LAT. The luxury market has slowed substantially in the last few months as inventory keeps mounting, according to quarterly reports from residential brokerage Douglas Elliman.

In addition to unattainable asking prices, volatility in the stock market and rising mortgage interest rates could be limiting buyers, experts said.

The drop in sales wasn’t limited to L.A. County. Home sales declined 13.5 percent year over year in Ventura County, while sales in Orange County dropped more severely than L.A., by 26 percent. [LAT] — Natalie Hoberman