The Southern California housing market has seen its share of peaks and valleys throughout the last couple of months, with factors such as the number of home sales falling into the deepest of valleys at times. In September, the six-county Southland looks to be showing a definite turnaround however, as home sales picked up the pace considerably.
According to CoreLogic Data Quick, home sales across Southern California grew by 1.2 percent compared with September 2013. Los Angeles County led the charge with a growth of 3.4 percent. Orange County also saw a gain of 2.2 percent while San Diego, Riverside and Ventura counties all saw dips in sales volumes. September was the first month in over two years in which CoreLogic did not calculate double-digit gains for any of the six counties that make up the Southern California housing market.
The increase in home sales is a step in the direction of market equilibrium, which will be a major factor in achieving full recovery. Home prices throughout Southern California had been gaining at such torrid rates that home buyers found themselves unable to keep up, however as price gains have finally modified, buyers are finding themselves coming into greater favor.
“There are still upward forces on home prices: Jobs are being created and families started at a time when the supply of homes for sale … remains relatively low,” said CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage to the Los Angeles Times. “Today’s home shoppers are more likely to find a less-crowded market with fewer intense multiple-offer situations and more serious, realistic buyers.”
Southern California Homes Moving Without Investor Activity
While higher prices on homes in Southern California had worked to alienate traditional buyers from the market, it has also helped to diminish the presence of investors on the market much to the delight of home buyers. Home sales had been boosted earlier in the year by heavy investor activity. Investors had been very active on the market after home prices crashed as they were able to pick up homes at bargain rates in a very distressed market.
Now that prices have recovered and even surpassed their original levels, investors and cash buyers are sitting on the sidelines and allowing traditional home buyers to finally take advantage of great market conditions. This greater equilibrium on the market has allowed home buyers to finally make their mark, and their presence is finally being felt after being missed for so long.
Even as the region descends into cooler months, when home sales are typically much slower than in the warm summer months, economists are predicting that home sales may continue to grow. Boosted by cooler price growth, buyers have been patiently waiting for the right time to strike and despite seasonal tendencies, they may pick now as the right time.
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