Coming off the heels of a slow year for home sales, the California housing market is still trying to pick up the pieces and gain traction as the spring season looms ahead. The California Association of REALTORS® released a report February 18 that found home sales in California to be down in the beginning of 2014
“Despite a leveling off of home prices and continued decline in interest rates in recent months, California’s housing market continues to be constrained by low housing affordability, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area,” said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. “Due to the region’s strong income and job growth, the Bay Area was the least affected by the housing crisis. But strong housing demand and tight supply in the region also have caused home prices to appreciate at a faster rate than many regions in California, leading to a slide in housing affordability in the area, which in turn, has resulted in a more pronounced slowdown in market activity in recent months.”
The report found the sales of existing single-family homes totaled 351,890 units on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate with sales down 3.9 percent in January from a revised 366,130 in December and down 2.7 percent from a revised 361,790 in January 2014. Throughout the state the median home value of $426,790 fell 5.9 percent from $453,780 in December, but the value was up 3.4 percent from the same month in the previous year.
“While the statewide unsold inventory index in January jumped to the highest level in nearly three years, the increase can be attributed in large part due to the drop in sales,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “Overall, active listings statewide showed a near double-digit increase from last January, but supply conditions weren’t all positive at the regional level. While both the Southern California and Central Valley regions showed a clear improvement in their inventory levels when compared to last year, housing supply in the Bay Area remains a concern as active listings declined more than 5 percent in the region, further illustrating the region’s lack of affordable homes for sale.”
Housing Market Conditions in Los Angeles
The median home value in Los Angeles has been on the decline through the start of 2015, but it still shows a year-over-year increase similar to what was seen in the statewide trends. According to Altos Research, a California-based real estate analytics company, the median single-family home value was reported at $550,757 as of February 20. During the same span the inventory level has increased slightly, which could help the Los Angeles housing market in the coming months.
There were about 1,791 properties available as of February 20, coming off a major downfall of supply that took place in the final month of 2014. The seven-day average, which is a much more timely and sporadic, started to pick up after the first week of January and shows that Los Angeles home buyers may have more homes to choose from this spring compared with last.
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(all data current as of 11/22/2017)
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