Home sales shrivel in SoCal during the slowest two years on record

With only 15% of residents able to buy, house deals run 33% below the 37-year average

Home Sales Across SoCal Run at the Slowest Pace on Record

Potential home buyers across Southern California have stepped out to lunch, with the pace of purchases at an all-time low.

With the price of homes out of reach of most buyers, only 357,486 homes in the six-county region were sold during 24 months ending in April — the slowest two years on record and the sixth-consecutive all-time low, the Orange County Register reported, citing figures from CoreLogic.

Sales ran 33 percent below the 37-year average and 10 percent less than the pre-pandemic sales low of 399,178 in March 2009. 

The typical SoCal home in April cost $760,000, up 1 percent in the past two years after 38 percent gains in 2020-2022.

Across the region, 15 percent of Southern California households can qualify to buy, according to the California Association of Realtors. The affordability gap is even worse in Orange County, where only 11 percent of households qualify to buy a home.

The typical home in OC cost nearly $1.2 million in April, up 14 percent in the past two years after 39 percent gains in 2020-2022.

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The buying pace is even slower than in the Southern California region, with 7 percent interest rates adding to the steep cost of purchases.

Only 49,284 homes in Orange County were sold in the 24 months ending in April, the slowest two years since records were launched in 1988 and the fifth-consecutive all-time low.

The homebuying pace in April was 39 percent below the 37-year average and 6 percent less than the pre-pandemic sale bottom of 52,293 in May 2009, during the global financial crisis.

While few houses sell, the ones that do go quickly. Single-family houses in OC  lasted only 21 days on the market in the first four months of the year, 25 days faster than the average sales pace since 2000, according to the Realtors association.

— Dana Bartholomew

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