Southern California real estate market updateOctober 15, 2014 by Gregory Corman
Sales of Southern California homes plummeted to a four-year low in August 2014, with little signs of rebounding. But while the market cooled off faster than expected, prices are still on the rise and the luxury segment of the market is continuing to do very well indeed.
18,796 new and resale homes were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last August, down 7.7 percent from 20,369 sold in July, and down 18.5 percent from 23,057 sold in August 2013, as reported by real estate information service, DataQuick. These poor sales figures are the result of the increases in housing prices, and then there’s the fact that many people are still putting off buying a home.
The median price for all new and resale homes sold in Southern California was $420,000 in August, up 1.7 percent from $413,000 in July and up 9.1 percent from $385,000 in August 2013. The month of August also saw San Diego County, Los Angeles County, and Orange County logging single-digit, year-over-year gains in their median sale prices, with Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and Ventura County getting double-digit increases.
The luxury real estate market saw gains in the second quarter of 2014, with homes priced at a million dollars and above setting record highs in communities like Manhattan Beach, Pacific Palisades, Laguna Beach, and Beverly Hills. While buyers of mid-priced and lower-cost housing are having a difficult time, it’s quite the opposite for luxury home buyers, who have substantial assets and are less likely to struggle with income and job security, credit scores, down payments, and mortgages.
Meanwhile, distressed property sales, which include foreclosures and short sales, continue to slide as the result of higher home values and a stronger economy. Foreclosure resales were down from 5.2 percent in August and down from 7.0 percent in August of last year, which analysts view as signs of the market slowly getting back to normal.