October 19, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Southern California home prices climb, hit new record in July

Southern California home prices set yet another record in July, although the pace of increase slowed as some home shoppers grew tired of bidding wars that have defined the pandemic market.

The six-county region’s median sales price — the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — reached $681,750 in July. That’s up 17.5% from a year earlier but lower than the 20%-plus gains recorded since April.

Sales rose nearly 10%, according to DQNews, the real estate firm that released the data Wednesday.

The housing market has been red hot since last year, with the pandemic unleashing several forces that boosted demand, including the desire for more space and rock-bottom interest rates.

But recently there have been signs things are becoming slightly less hot.

In July, just 17% of consumers thought it was a good time to buy a home in California, down from 31% a year earlier, according to a survey from the California Assn. of Realtors.

A recent report from Redfin also indicated a somewhat slower market. About 60% of the offers written by the brokerage’s agents had a competing offer last month, compared with 66.5% a month earlier and 74.1% in April — a high during the pandemic.

Jordan Levine, chief economist with the California Assn. of Realtors, said buyer fatigue, combined with more sellers listing their homes for sale, has created a market that is “normalizing.”

“You just have something that is getting back to an equilibrium after being so incredibly imbalanced,” Levine said. “It’s still pretty competitive out there.”

That competitiveness can be seen in July figures for individual counties.

  • In Los Angeles County, the median sales price rose 18.7% to a record $795,000, while sales climbed 20.2%.
  • In Orange County, the median sales price rose 16.6% to a record $904,000, while sales climbed 5%.
  • In Riverside County, the median sales price rose 23.2% to a record $525,000, while sales climbed 6.6%.
  • In San Bernardino County, the median sales price rose 21.3% to a record $455,000, while sales climbed 4.3%.
  • In San Diego County, the median sales price rose 15.2% to $730,500, while sales climbed 4.3%.
  • In Ventura County, the median sales price rose 16.5% to $735,000, while sales climbed 10%.