Southern California Home Prices Hit 10 Year High

Southern California home prices jump 10% amid scarcity of sellers

Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG

File photo



Southern California home prices continued galloping upward at double-digit rates in February amid a lopsided mismatch between the number of buyers and sellers, CoreLogic reported Wednesday, March 21.

The region also saw a slight increase in the number of homes sold, reversing a trend in recent months even though for-sale listings remain at five-year lows.

The median price of a Southern California home – or the price at the midpoint of all sales – jumped 10.2 percent to $506,750, CoreLogic’s housing report shows. That’s less than 1 percent below the all-time high of $509,500 set in December.

Prices hit record territory in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The Los Angeles County median rose 10.5 percent year over year to a record high of $580,000. In Orange County, the median was $710,000, up 10.1 percent and matching the all-time high reached in September.

San Bernardino home prices jumped 16 percent to $336,500, that county’s highest median price since August 2007. Prices were up 8.7 percent in Riverside and San Diego counties, rising to $375,000 and $535,000 respectively.

Home prices have been rising on an annual basis for just under six years, but the pace of price gains had been in the single digits for 3½ years.

Last month saw 1,872 homes sell for $1 million or more, a record million-dollar tally for a February.

“The ongoing mismatch between housing supply and demand suggests continued upward pressure on prices,” said Andrew LePage, CoreLogic’s research analyst.

As of March 8, the region had 31,461 homes listed in the Realtor-run multiple listing service, the lowest number this time of year since 2013, figures from Steve Thomas’ show.

Despite the scarcity of sellers, home sales increased 0.6 percent regionwide to 15,189 transactions last month, CoreLogic reported. It’s the highest tally for a February in five years.

That’s a dramatic turnaround. Sales volume had been down on an annual basis in four of the preceding five months.

Last month’s sales were up year over year in every county but Los Angeles, which had a 3.1 percent drop.

Sales were up 1.3 percent in Orange County, 1.4 percent in Riverside County and topped 2 percent in San Bernardino and San Diego counties. Ventura County saw sales jump 11 percent year over year.

Sales also remain strong in the face of rising mortgage interest rates, approaching 4.5 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate loan.

LePage warned if mortgage rates keep edging higher, some of the price and sales pressure might be relieved.

“More buyers are (being) priced out of the market,” he said.

Thomas argued in his latest report, however, that mortgage rates will have to go much higher before impacting sales.

“Interest rates would have to rise beyond 5.5 percent to negatively impact housing,” Thomas said. “It is a hot seller’s market. … Crowded open houses, multiple offers, buyers seemingly tripping over each other to purchase, that has become a springtime norm.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: