Has Southern California’s homebuying surge cooled? – Press-Enterprise


Has Southern California’s homebuying surge in the coronavirus era cooled?

Zillow’s weekly tracking of homes put into escrow in the week ended Sept. 19 showed 3,624 new pending listings in the 4-county region. That’s off 0.14% in a week, the third consecutive drop after rising 16 out of 19 weeks coming out of April’s pandemic-induced lockdown.

Autumn is typically a time of cooling homebuying. Though 2020 is no ordinary year. The most recent week’s new signed contracts run 9.6% above the year ago level and 112% above the mid-April low. In the same period in 2019, new escrows fell by 5%.

Cheap mortgages and urges for larger living spaces are motivating house hunters. But owners are reluctant to list their homes. Ponder what’s inside the Zillow report, starting with new escrows …

Los Angeles and Orange counties: 2,207 residences — up 0.7% in a week and up 8.1% in a year.

Inland Empire: 1,417 — down 1.4% in a week and up 12% in a year.

US: 26,087 — down 1% in a week and up 22% in a year.

There’s limited inventory to buy …

LA-OC: 17,096 — down 25% in a year.

Inland Empire: 8,215 — down 48% in a year.

US: 894,471 — down 35% in a year.

That tight supply makes for quick sales. Look at the median time for homes, escrow from first listing …

LA-OC: 12.3 days — down 11 days in a year.

Inland Empire: 9 days — down 16.1 in a year.

US: 13 days — down 14.3 in a year.

So have sellers pushed their asking prices too high? Median listing price …

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LA-OC: $959,500 — up 14% in a year.

Inland Empire: $481,927 — up 16% in a year.

US: $345,000 — up 10% in a year.

Note: August’s closed sales showed the median price of a home in the six-county Southern California region hitting a record of $600,000 last month, up 12.1% in a year, CoreLogic/DQ News reported. Sales were up 2.4%, year over year.



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