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Los Angeles County homebuyers made up for lost time in July, signing 21.6 percent more new contracts for single-family homes than during the same month last year, according to a report from residential real estate brokerage Douglas Elliman.

In total, there were 5,420 contracts signed in July for single-family residences, roughly a 33 percent boost over the previous month. July has historically been a quieter month for pending home sales, as families escape the city on summer vacation. But this year, ‘home buying season’ has shifted from spring to summer, resulting in a spike in contract activity amid tight inventory.

“Single-family and condo new signed contracts surged ahead of year-ago levels for the first time since the shutdown,” wrote Jonathan Miller, the president and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc. “After bottoming in April, new signed contracts and new listings have grown rapidly over the subsequent months.”

New signed contracts for condominiums increased dramatically, jumping 61.4 percent compared to July 2019. Sky-high prices for LA single-family homes kept condo sales afloat, resulting in 1,585 pending transactions last month. Condo sales took longer to recover than single-family homes, likely due to concerns about common areas and amenities, but have bounced back with vengeance.

New listings were far and few between in July, declining 24.1 percent year-over-year for single-family homes to 4,665. The condo market didn’t see many more fresh listings, with totals down 18.1 percent over the same period one year ago to 1,129.

The proliferation of remote work has prompted many Angelenos to hunt for houses in neighborhoods they wouldn’t have previously considered due to commute times. “The buyer pool has just exploded with opportunity and there still isn’t enough supply for the demand,” said Compass agent Naomi Klein. “Buyers are willing to take more space for more value.”

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