Home sales in SoCal fall to lowest levels since 2008: report

The number of sales in January is down 17% from 2018

Feb.February 27, 2019 12:00 PM
Southern California homes (Credit: iStock)

The number of home sales in Southern California continued to dip in January, reaching their lowest levels since the housing market crash in 2008.

A new report from real estate data firm CoreLogic reveals the number of homes sold last month dropped 17 percent year over year to 12,665. That’s the lowest that has been recorded for that month since January 2008, when 9,983 homes sold.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because a similar situation occurred in December 2018, when home sales dropped 20.3 percent to 5,291 — the lowest level since 2010.

CoreLogic incorporates data from Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties.

A drop in mortgage rates in December, which made prices more affordable that month, is likely to blame for January’s slowdown, Andrew LePage, a CoreLogic analyst, said in the report. There was a nearly 20 percent drop in sales from December to January across the six counties, according to the report.

In L.A. County, the number of homes sold dropped 15.8 percent year over year to 1,778 homes in January. The median sales price inched up 2.6 percent to $579,500.

That’s slightly higher than the median sales price for the combined counties, which rose 2 percent year over year to $505,000.

The slowdown was most pronounced with newly-built homes. In January, sales of new homes, which includes detached houses and condos, dropped 57.8 percent below the historical long-term average dating from 1988.

Sluggishness is also evident in the luxury market. The number of homes that traded for more than $800,000 fell 12.7 percent year over year, while sales surpassing $1 million dipped 16 percent.

Home sellers in the upper echelons of the market are struggling to move their properties, as evidenced by the frequency of re-listings taking place. In one extreme example, the sellers of a 157-acre spread in the Beverly Hills Post Office recently dropped the asking price from a record $1 billion to $650 million.

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