The median sale price for a home in Southern California eked out another record in September, but the relatively small increase offered the latest sign of a cooling trend.
The median price in the six-county region reached $688,500, up by less than 1% from August, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. It was the latest highwater mark in a year full of monthly records so far.
The post-pandemic market frenzy has clearly cooled, however, joining a trend that appears to have taken hold across the country.
The 23,960 sales across the six-county region in September also were essentially flat from a year prior, and bidding wars have died down.
Nationwide, the housing market saw a flood of buyers after real estate activity started again following the first few months of the pandemic.
The rush was fueled by pent-up demand, low mortgage rates, investor activity, and demand from city dwellers looking to spread out in the wake of the pandemic.
Mortgage rates are on the rise and the continually rising price point on entry to the market has deterred some buyers.
Roger Hart of Forecast Realty in Torrance said that homes are no longer regularly selling for above ask.
“We turned the corner,” Hart said. “They’re not going $100,000 over asking. They’re not going $50,000 over asking. They’re going for asking or below.”
Of all Southern California’s six counties, Orange County has slowed the most significantly — sales were down 7.8 percent year-over year, with 3,464 transactions, while the median rose 13.4 percent to $890,000.
L.A. County saw 6.2 percent more sales than the same month last year, and the median price rose 12 percent to $795,000.
Riverside County, one of the region’s more affordable markets, saw the most significant year-over-year increase in median sales price at 18 percent, to $527,000.
Generally speaking, the more affordable counties of Riverside and San Bernardino – which together make up an area called the Inland Empire – have seen the most significant price growth in the region since the pandemic, as buyers are priced out of more expensive counties like L.A.
Ventura County meanwhile saw sales fall 2.3 percent and prices rise 9 percent, the least of any county in the region, to $725,000.
[LADN] — Dennis Lynch