As we adjust to yet another hot Southern California summer, we're noticing that our housing market is heating up as well after a coronavirus-induced slump.
Sales are still below year-earlier levels but are up sharply from spring, when stay-at-home orders all but froze the market. In our local market, many real estate agents are experiencing bidding wars due to low inventory and high demand from prospective buyers. That level of activity may not last.
COVID-19 cases have surged throughout California as the economy reopened, causing the state to reimpose some restrictions. But for now, would-be buyers who still have the financial wherewithal seem eager to get their hands on mortgages with rock-bottom rates.
If you're looking to sell your property, now might be the ideal time to do so in order to sell quickly and for top dollar.
The latest evidence came this week when data firm DQNews released numbers for June. Sales across the six-county Southern California region jumped 43.5% from May, the largest increase ever from May to June in a data set that dates from 1988. Sales were still at a record low for a June and down 15.2% from a year earlier, but deals had declined 45% year over year in May and fell 31.5% in April. The region’s median sale price, meanwhile, rose 2.9% from a year earlier to $555,500 in June, a record high. The median is the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less.
Bidding wars are increasingly common because, as the economy reopened, buyers re-entered a market with a low inventory and cheap mortgages. In late July, the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dipped below 3% for the first time on record. Shortly after it stood at 3.01%, down from 3.75% a year ago, according to Freddie Mac.
Many sellers pulled their homes off the market this spring after stay-at-home orders took effect and fears over the coronavirus surged. Listings have risen since April, but the number of homes for sale last month in Los Angeles and Orange counties was 26% below year-earlier levels, according to Zillow. We expect that more sellers aren’t listing their homes because they underestimate the level of demand that we are seeing from buyers.
Here’s how the June sales data broke down by county:
- In Los Angeles County, sales rose 40.8% from May and fell 24.3% from a year earlier. The median price rose 4% from a year earlier to $643,000.
- In Orange County, sales rose 49% from May and fell 22.1% from a year earlier. The median price rose 4.1% from a year earlier to $765,000.
- In Riverside County, sales rose 38.9% from May and fell 12% from a year earlier. The median price rose 7.8% from a year earlier to $430,000.
- In San Bernardino County, sales rose 36.6% from May and fell 3% from a year earlier. The median price rose 7.4% from a year earlier to $365,000.
- In San Diego County, sales rose 52.9% from May and fell 2.4% from a year earlier. The median price rose 1.7% from a year earlier to $600,250.
- In Ventura County, sales rose 49.7% from May and fell 23.9% from a year earlier. The median price rose 3.5% from a year earlier to $600,000.
If you're interested in buying or selling, do not hesitate to contact me today. My name is Sara Griffin with The Associates Realty Group and it's my goal to not only help you buy or sell real estate but to be your REALTOR® for life. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 951-220-4491 or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information adapted from an original article written by Andrew Khouri from the Los Angeles Times.