Low mortgage rates spur rebound in Southern California home prices, sales – Daily News

on Feb25
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Southern California home prices and sales bounced back last month from a 2019 housing slump, with prices up nearly 7% and sales jumping almost 18% in the year ending in January, a DQ News report based on CoreLogic data shows.

Homebuyers snatched up 14,944 new and existing homes in January, up 17.8% from the same month a year earlier, DQ News reported Monday, Feb. 24. That’s the second-biggest biggest year-over-year percentage gain in the six-county region in more than three years.

Meanwhile, the median price of a Southern California home — or the price at the midpoint of all sales — was $533,000, up 6.6% from a year earlier, according to DQ News. That’s a record price for the month of January and the second–biggest appreciation rate in almost 1 1/2 years.

Last month’s median was just $8,250 below the all-time high of $541,250 reached in June, CoreLogic figures show.

Records for a January home price also were set in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.

The housing market fell into a slump after mortgage interest rates soared in late 2018, almost hitting 5% for a 30-year fixed mortgage, according to Freddie Mac.

As of last week, rates had dropped almost 1 1/2 percentage points, resulting in a $432 cut in monthly mortgage payments for a $510,400 loan. After about nine months of steadily declining mortgage rates, the local housing market picked up again in mid-summer.

Still, last month’s sales lag the January tallies for 2017 and 2018, when more than 15,000 homes changed hands each month. January’s percentage jump reflects a return to a more normal sales pace following the spike in mortgage rates in late 2018.

Last month’s sales also were the lowest of the past year, reflecting the typical seasonal slowdown. January sales represent transactions signed during the holiday season, when most home buyers and sellers take a break.

Here are 11 local trends from the latest housing report:

1. Single-family houses: 10,496 sold in all six counties, up 15.1% in a year. The median house price was $560,000 — an 8.4% year-over-year increase.

2. Condos: 3,174 sales across the region, up 19.1% over 12 months. Median? $455,000 — a 5.5% increase in a year.

3. Newly built: Local builders sold 1,274 new homes, up 40.3% in a year. The median price was $546,000 — down 9.6% over 12 months.

4. Builder share: 8.5% of SoCal sales were new homes, compared with 7.2% a year earlier. Between 1998 and 2018, new homes accounted for 13.4% of all homes purchased.

5. County level: Both sales and prices increased in all six SoCal counties, with sales gains ranging from 14% in L.A. County to nearly 23% in San Diego County.

6. Los Angeles County: 4,667 homes sold, up 14.1%. Median: $615,000 — a 6.0% increase.

7. Orange County: 2,136 homes sold, up 20.3%. Median: SoCal’s highest at $747,000 — a 6.7% increase.

8. Riverside County: 2,766 homes sold, up 18.3%. Median: $390,000 — a 4.0% increase.

9. San Bernardino County: 2,144 homes sold, up 16.7%. Median: SoCal’s cheapest at $360,000 — a 12.5% increase.

10. San Diego County: 2,600 homes sold, up 22.8%. Median: $585,000 — a 7.9% increase.

11. Ventura County: 631 homes sold, up 18.8%. Median: $588,000 — a 3.2% increase.

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