Photo by Juan Carlos Becerra on Unsplash

Los Angeles homebuyers were given a smidgen of relief in October as home prices dipped 2.6 percent over the previous month, according to the latest data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR). 

The median sold price of an existing single-family home amounted to $728,160, down from $747,380 in September. However, prices remained 12.4 percent higher than one year ago.

Amid tight inventory, low mortgage rates and surging buyer demand, prices have been rising steadily since June. At the onset of the pandemic in March, the typical home in Los Angeles sold for $567,910 — a more than $160,000 price difference.

While prices may have cooled somewhat, home sales remained red hot. There was a 17.6 percent boost in transactions between September and October and homes sold in an average of nine days, nearly two weeks faster than the same period last year.

On an annual basis, home sales were up 13.1 percent despite the dwindling number of properties on the market. Unsold inventory stood at 2.1 months of supply, compared to 2.3 months in September and 3.0 months in October 2019.

“An extremely favorable lending environment and a renewed attitude towards homeownership is prolonging the homebuying season and extending the market’s V-shaped recovery to the off season,” said CAR Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.

“The question that remains to be answered, however, is whether the strong market is sustainable in the longer term as market fundamentals continue to be tested by tight supply, eroding housing affordability, and most of all, the rising number of Coronavirus cases.”

Statewide, 484,510 closed escrow home sales were recorded in October on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. This marked a decline of 1.0 percent from the previous month and a 19.9 percent improvement year-over-year.

California’s median home price totaled $711,300, 0.2 percent lower than the month prior and a 17.5 percent increase from October 2019. A whopping 43 out of the 51 counties tracked by CAR logged annual gains in home sales.

“California’s housing market continues to exceed expectations as this year’s traditional homebuying season has shifted into late summer and fall instead of spring and early summer,”  said 2021 CAR President Dave Walsh.

“The ongoing momentum will keep home sales elevated for the next couple of months, and the housing market will remain a rare bright spot in a struggling economy.”

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