Southern California House Sales Fall 18%, Biggest Drop in 8 Years


Southern California House Sales Fall 18%, Biggest Drop in 8 Years

2018-10-26T10:04:51+00:00October 26th, 2018|Advocacy, Local Updates|

Southern California house sales fell in September by the biggest rate since the depths of the Great Recession, the latest housing report by the California Association of Realtors shows.

Sales of existing single-family homes fell 17.6 percent from September 2017 in the five-county Los Angeles metro area, the biggest annual percentage drop since October 2010, CAR reported Monday, Oct. 22. The drop was the state’s biggest, with Los Angeles County house sales falling 22 percent.

In Orange County, sales fell 21.8 percent. Riverside and San Bernardino counties recorded an annual sales decline of 9.7 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively. Statewide, house sales fell 12.4 percent in September, which was California’s biggest year-over-year sales decline since March 2014, CAR reported. Economists with the industry group have been blaming higher home prices and interest rates for cutting into housing affordability.

CAR President Steve White also attributed sales drops to federal tax cuts adopted late last year, which make homeownership less advantageous by capping property tax deductions and reducing the amount of mortgage interest that can be deducted from federal income taxes.

“The housing market continued to deteriorate, and the decline in sales worsened as interest rates remained on an upward trend,” White said. “More would-be buyers are self-sidelining.”

Meanwhile, Southern California houses continued to sell for more than they did a year ago, but year-over-year price gains are shrinking.

House prices increased 3.4 percent in the Los Angeles metro area (made up of L.A., Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties), the lowest year-over-year growth rate among all major regions, CAR reported.

Despite the sales slowdown, the median price of a Los Angeles County house – or price at the midpoint of all sales – hit an all-time high of $634,680 in September, up 4.7 percent, CAR figures show.

San Bernardino County’s median house price of $300,000 was the highest since August 2007, up 7.5 percent.

Orange County’s median was $825,000, up 3.3 percent, the region’s smallest year-over-year percentage gain, CAR reported. In Riverside County, house prices rose 5.3 percent to $405,950.

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