Redondo Beach, Greater South Bay and Southern California home sales slipped to a four-year low for August as would-be buyers faced inventory and affordability challenges and investor purchases held at the lowest level in several years. The median sale price climbed to a post-recession high.
Redondo Beach was the only market in the South Bay area with the increase in average home sales price and the number of real estate sales. As you’ll see from the numbers below, all other area sales levels dropped in the 3rd qtr of this year, compared to last year. Average prices continued to rise but the pace of price increases slowed down.
A total of 18,796 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in August. That was down 7.7 percent from 20,369 sales in July, and down 18% from 23,057 sales a year ago.
On average, the region sales dropped on a year-over-year basis for 11 consecutive months. Sales during the month of August have ranged from a low of 16,379 in 1992 to a high of 39,562 in 2003. Last month’s sales were 28.2 percent below the August average of 26,169 sales.
The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region last month was $420,000, up 1.7 percent from $413,000 in July and up 9.1 percent from $385,000 in August 2013. Last month’s median was the highest for any month since December 2007, when it was $425,000. The median’s 9.1 percent year-over-year gain in August was the highest in three months. But it also marked the third consecutive month with a single-digit annual increase following 22 months of double-digit year-over-year gains as high as 28.3 percent.
Home prices have been rising at different rates depending on price segment. In August, the lowest-cost third of the region’s housing stock saw a 13.1 percent year-over-year increase in the median price paid per square foot for resale houses. The annual gain was 7.9 percent for the middle third of the market and 4.3 percent for the top, most-expensive third.
The number of homes that sold for $500,000 or more last month fell 0.6 percent compared with a year earlier. But sales below $500,000 fell 16.3 percent year-over-year. Sales below $200,000 dropped 35.6 percent. Sales in the lower price ranges are hampered by, among other things, the drop in affordability over the last year, a fussy mortgage market and a relatively low inventory of homes for sale.
South Bay real estate market was mixed. Sales dropped in most areas but prices continued to rise. Here are home sales and prices for selected South Bay markets in the 3rd quarter of 2014 compared to same period last year (data is based on CRMLS single family homes only):
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