March was a pretty good month for Southern California in terms of the real estate market. Here’s a look at how spring is shaping up to be in the region.
Southern California Housing Sales
Despite increasing prices, the spring home buying season experienced a 34.5 percent jump in home sales in Southern California when comparing March to February figures. In all, a total of 20,370 new and existing houses and condos were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange and Ventura counties compared to 15,149 sales in February. When compared to March 2015, figures were up by 1.9 percent when compared to the 19,987 sales from last year.
The March 2016 figures represent the highest March figures for the region since 2013, at which time 20,581 homes were sold. Nonetheless, they do remain 15 percent below the average sales for the month of March since the late 1980s. Therefore, despite an improved economy and low mortgage rates, potential buyers are still facing obstacles such as dealing with affordability issues, a tight housing inventory and moderately tight credit. Historically, the lowest sales figures for Southern California were 12,808 in 2008 while the highest figures were in 2004 with 37,030 houses and condos sold.
Among the Southern California counties, Los Angeles County was the only one to experience a drop in sales in March. When compared to last year’s figures, the county experienced a 1.4 percent drop with 6,610 homes sold. Orange County, on the other hand, experienced 4.8 percent growth in sales with 3,583 homes sold. Riverside County increased sales by 4.8 percent to 3,583 while San Bernardino’s home sales increased by 7.7 percent to 2,528.
Southern California Housing Prices
In terms of prices, the median price for homes sold in Southern California was up by 4.4 percent from $430,000 in February to $449,000 in March. These figures also represent a 5.6 percent increase when compared to the median price of $425,000 from March of last year. The median price in March of this year was also the highest it has been for any month since September 2007, at which time the median price was $462,000. It is still 11.1 percent below the peak of $505,000, however, which was reached in March, April, May and July of 2007.
In Los Angeles County, the median sale price increased by 5.9 percent to $506,000. Orange County experienced a 6.8 percent increase in the median sale price to $625,000 while Riverside County’s median price increased by 8.2 percent to $330,000. San Bernardino County’s median price increased by 4.6 percent to $272,000.
High-End Homes in Southern California
In all, homes priced at $500,000 or more accounted for 41.8 percent of all sales in March, representing a 39.2 percent increase in homes sold at this price point when compared to February and a 38.6 percent increase when compared to March 2015. The number of homes sold at $800,000 or more increased by 8.3 percent when comparing year-over-year figures while sales of $1 million or more increased by 5.9 percent.
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(all data current as of 5/29/2017)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.