Homebuying starts 2022 with big sales dip in Los Angeles County – Daily News

on Mar7
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Los Angeles County house hunters bought less and paid less in January.

Across Southern California, 16,461 residences — existing and newly constructed — sold in six counties, down 28% for the month, and down 8% over the past year, according to DQNews. The region’s median price of $687,000 was down 1% for the month but up 16% over 12 months.

As for Los Angeles County, here is what my trusty spreadsheet found within the DQNews report on closed transactions for January …


The month: 5,377 existing and new residences sold, down 29% from December and down 6% from 2021.

How fast? This was the No. 19 busiest January of the 35 since 1988.

Past decade: 8% above the 10-year average buying pace for January.

Monthly trend: Since 1988, a typical January always had a one-month sales drop with an average 26% decrease from December.

Past 12 months? 90,160 Los Angeles County purchases — 26% above the previous 12 months and 16% above the 10-year average.


The month: The countywide $791,000 median for all homes — down 1.7% in a month and up 15% over 12 months. Record high? $805,000 set in December.

Context: Over 10 years, price gains averaged 10.6% annually. The latest performance tops 79% of all 12-month periods since 1988.

Pandemic era? 11 price records broken since February 2020. The median’s $171,000 increase equals a gain of $10.16 every hour over these 23 months.

Key slices

Existing single-family houses: 3,688 sold, down 6% in a year. Median of $850,000 — a 13% increase over 12 months.

Existing condos: 1,442 sales, down 6% over 12 months. Median of $645,000 — a 15% increase in a year.

Newly built: Builders sold 247 new homes, down 6% in a year. Median of $883,500 — a 19% increase over 12 months.

Builder share: 4.6% of sales, same as a year earlier.

Bigger picture

Rates: How cheap is money? Rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.21% in the three months ending in January vs. 2.74% a year earlier. That translates to 6% less buying power for house hunters.

Pandemic era: Changing rates meant a buyer with 20% down would pay $2,739 a month on the $791,000 January median vs. $2,256 on February 2020’s $620,000 median. So prices rose 28% vs. a house payment’s 21% increase.

Supply: In the past year, L.A.-O.C. had 41% fewer listings, the ninth-biggest drop of the 50 largest metropolitan areas, according to Realtor.com.

Affordability: Look at the declining share of households that can afford the median-priced house in SoCal counties, according to the California Association of Realtors: Orange, 17% now vs. 26% in 2019; L.A. 21% vs. 27%; Riverside 32% vs. 41%; and in San Bernardino 42% vs. 51%.

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