The median price of a home in Southern California resumed its upward drive in October, rising $85,000 compared with a year earlier to set another record.
The median sales price across the region reached $690,000, a 14 percent increase from a year ago, according to the Orange County Register. It’s the eighth time this year that the median sales price set a new record.
Pricing and the pace of sales have steadily increased as pandemic restrictions have been lifted in various stages throughout the region. Low mortgage rates and pent up demand fueled the trends.
The hot streak stretched from this spring and to early summer, but the market started to slow later in August, in part because buyers started to pull back over pricing and lack of inventory. The lack of inventory that pushed prices up also held sales down.
Sales were down in October compared to a year earlier across all of Southern California’s six counties. They were down most drastically — 13.6 percent — in Orange County. OC also had the highest median sales price at $920,000, a 15.7 percent increase from a year prior.
Sales were down 0.9 percent year-over-year in L.A. County, while the median sales price reached $790,000, 10.5 percent higher than a year prior.
San Bernardino County and Riverside County–together known as the Inland Empire–remain the most affordable of all Southern California counties with median prices of $465,000 and $535,000, respectively.
Both counties however have seen more drastic price growth since the beginning of the pandemic than their neighbors. Lower overall pricing means more room to grow.
Some buyers are also being priced out of L.A. County and other pricier areas and are seeking deals in those counties.
Low mortgage rates are in part driving buyers to the market. National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicted last week that rates could rise to as high as 3.7 percent by next fall.
Long Beach-based broker Crystal West, with West City Realty and Lending, said she’s seeing bidding wars but would expect to “see a slowdown” if mortgage rates increase. [OC Register] — Dennis Lynch