Los Angeles County homebuying’s busiest November since 2006 – Daily News

on Dec18
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Even though fewer Los Angeles County house hunters closed deals last month than did in October, it still was the busiest November for home sales since 2006.

Overall, Southern California homebuyers were not deterred by the six-county median sales price hitting its 14th record high of the pandemic era in November, according to DQNews. Mortgage rates a notch above record lows have mixed with an enduring, hearty appetite for larger living quarters to push up prices — though, appreciation rates seem to be cooling. And a possible recession in 2023 might chill the buying pace.

The six counties had 22,426 sales, down 1.5% in the month; up 1.8% in a year. The median price jumped tp a record $693,500 after November’s 0.5% gain. In a year, prices are up 16% increase — though six months earlier that were up 25% a year.

As for L.A. County, here is a baker’s dozen of trends my trusty spreadsheet found within the DQNews report on closed transactions …

1. Sales: 7,234 existing and new residences sold, down 4% from October and up 8% from November 2020.

2. Context: You have to go back to 2006 to find any September with more sales. This was the 15th busiest November of the 34 since 1988. Last month was 20% above the 10-year average buying pace for November. Since 1988, a typical November sees a one-month sales drop 88% of the time with an average 10% decrease from October.

3. Past 12 months? 90,614 Los Angeles County purchases — 30% above the previous 12 months and 17% above the 10-year average.

4. Prices: The countywide $788,000 median for all homes — down 0.3% in a month and up 13% over 12 months. Six months earlier, gains ran 25% a year. Record high? $795,000 set in July.

5. Context: Over 10 years, price gains averaged 9.8% annually. The latest performance tops 76% of all 12-month periods since 1988.

6. Pandemic era? 10 price records broken since February 2020. The median’s $158,000 increase equals a $10.28 gain every hour over these 21 months.

Here’s a look into key slices of Los Angeles County’s market in November …

7. Existing single-family houses: 4,921 sold, up 8% in a year. Median of $850,000 — a 12% increase over 12 months.

8. Existing condos: 1,953 sales, up 5% over 12 months. Median of $650,000 — a 13% increase in a year.

9. Newly built: Builders sold 360 new homes, up 25% in a year. Median of $784,750 — a 5% increase over 12 months.

10. Builder share: 5% of sales vs. 4.3% a year earlier. Los Angeles County builders’ slice of the market ranks No. 5 among SoCal’s six counties.

And the bigger picture …

11. Rates: How cheap is money? Rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.01% in the three months ending in November vs. 3.60% in February 2020, just before the pandemic struck. That translates to 8% more buying power for house hunters.

At these rates, a buyer with 20% down would pay $2,662 a month on the $788,000 sale vs. $2,256 on February 2020’s $620,000 median. So during the pandemic era, sale prices rose 27% but just 18% for a theoretical house payment.

12. Supply: The four counties had 24% fewer existing homes officially available to buy in the three months ended in November vs. a year earlier, Realtor.com stats show.

13. Affordability: The combination of higher prices and larger mortgage payments forced Chapman University’s single-family affordability index down 11% since June.

Around Southern California …

Overall: Sales rose in a trio of the region’s six counties for the month; a trio in a year. Prices rose in four counties in the month; all in the year. Since May, the rate of appreciation has shrunk in five of the six counties.

Orange County: 3,181 sales, down 2.4% in the month; down 3.5% in a year. Median? $919,000 after November’s 0.1% dip. In a year, 15% increase. Six months earlier, gains ran 19% a year.

Riverside County: 4,197 sales, up 2.4% in the month; up 2.5% over 12 months — busiest since 2006. Median? record $546,750 after November’s 2.2% gain. In a year, 20% increase. Six months earlier, gains ran 23% a year.

San Bernardino County: 3,166 sales, up 1.1% in the month; up 5.6% over 12 months — busiest since 2006. Median? record $475,000 after November’s 2.2% gain. In a year, 19% increase. Six months earlier, gains ran 17% a year.

San Diego County: 3,646 sales, down 3% in the month; down 7% in a year. Median? record $750,000 after November’s 1.4% gain. In a year, 15% increase. Six months earlier, gains ran 23% a year.

Ventura County: 1,002 sales, up 2% in the month; down 0.6% in a year. Median? record $755,000 after November’s 4.1% gain. In a year, 15% increase. Six months earlier, gains ran 21% a year.

Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at jlansner@scng.com



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