Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

Priced out of the market for single-family homes, hordes of Los Angeles County homebuyers are turning their attention to condominiums in the $300,000 to $1 million range. 

According to a new report from residential real estate brokerage Douglas Elliman, the number of new signed contracts for condominiums spiked 46.9 percent year-over-year in November, amounting to 1,209 transactions. 

The volume of pending sales was down slightly from October when there were 1,487 contract signings. However, it was an impressive performance for a traditionally slow month that is hampered by the Thanksgiving holiday. A total of 962 condo listings hit the market in November, a 40 percent drop from the previous month but on par with year-ago levels.

The majority of contracts signed were for condominiums priced between $400,000 and $799,000. Angelenos are keen to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates and are finding greater affordability and inventory in the condominium segment. With a vaccine on the horizon, common amenities and elevators aren’t the dealbreakers they once were at the start of the pandemic.

“Year over year gains for condo new signed contracts continued to outperform the increases in single family new signed contracts,” wrote Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc.

Plummeting inventory for single-family homes caused new signed contracts to fall 9.2 percent year-over-year, resulting in 3,429 pending deals. There were 2,039 new listings in November, a 47.6 percent decline compared to the same period last year.

The greatest share of new signed contracts were for homes priced between $600,000 and $799,000, although there was significant sales activity in the $1 million to $1.99 million range. According to the latest available data, the median sold price of a single-family home in Los Angeles County stood at $740,000 in October. 

New signed contracts for single-family homes peaked in July and have been on a downward trajectory since, although there was a modest sales bump in late October. With Los Angeles’ three-week lockdown underway and Hanukkah and Christmas fast approaching, it’s unlikely that the market will show any signs of improvement before the end of the year.

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