Photo by Ferran Feixas on Unsplash

Socially distanced lineups outside newly-listed properties were a common sight across Los Angeles this summer. 

A new report from Douglas Elliman illustrates just how gangbusters housing market activity was in the third quarter of 2020, pointing to a 25.4 percent increase in closed sales of single-family homes. 

A total of 991 single-family homes changed hands in Q3, compared with 465 in Q2 when private, in-person home showings were only beginning to resume — a 113.1 percent quarterly boost.

Much of the activity took place in the high-end of the market, with the median sales price clocking in at $2,502,000. Prices inched up 0.5 percent over Q2, but were 3.6 percent higher than the same period last year. Single-family homes in LA spent a median of 36 days on the market, selling 28 days faster than the same period last year.

The majority of neighborhoods surveyed by Douglas Elliman posted gains in single-family home sales, particularly those that offer larger lots and access to the outdoors, like Brentwood, Malibu and Hollywood Hills West.

While its performance pales in comparison to the single-family market, the condo segment recorded a modest, 1.3 percent improvement in closed sales over Q3 2019. There were 763 completed transactions, 81.7 percent more than the previous quarter when just 420 condos were sold. This marked the third time in four quarters that sales numbers strengthened.

It proved to be a buyer’s market with median condo prices falling 4.2 percent year-over-year to $930,000. The typical unit spent 29 days on the market, a difference of 6 days compared to Q2 and 23 days compared to Q3 2019.

When surveying the LA market as a whole, residential sales surged 98.2 percent over the second quarter and 13.7 percent annually. “Sales and price trends rebounded quickly after the lockdown, but so did listing inventory,” wrote Jonathan Miller, the author of the report and CEO of real estate appraisal and consulting firm, Miller Samuel.

Home sellers, perhaps sensing that it was a favorable time to list their properties or wanting to move themselves, caused inventory to spike 21.6 percent year-over-year. At 3,992 new listings, it was “the highest total reached during six years of tracking,” concluded Miller.

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