Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

For the fifth consecutive month, single-family home sales in Los Angeles have posted annual gains above 10 percent. 

January home sales soared 15.2 percent over the same period a year ago, according to a new report from the California Association of Realtors. Although its performance was not as strong as December’s, with transactions down 31.4 percent month-over-month, January marked a positive start to the new year. 

The median sales price climbed 13 percent on a year-over-year basis to $697,660, but declined 1.7 percent from the previous month. This could be attributed to the slight uptick in supply, which increased from 1.4 months in December to 1.8 months in January.

However, the lack of available inventory remains a major obstacle for homebuyers in Los Angeles. In January 2020, it would have taken 3.2 months to sell all of the homes on the market, and properties were going under contract in a median of 26 days. Last month, that figure plummeted to 11 days — a day longer than in December but still a breakneck pace for home sales.

Statewide, there were 484,730 existing, single-family home sales in January, up 22.5 percent compared to the same month last year. Closed escrow sales fell 4.9 percent from 509,750 in December, as did California’s median home price, which dipped 2.5 percent month-over-month to $699,890.

The typical home sold for $124,730 more than it did in January 2020 — a significant 21.7 percent increase. Listings transitioned from ‘active’ to ‘pending’ in a median of 12 days compared to 31 days during the same period last year. Inventory inched up to 1.5 months of supply, a paltry showing over the previous January’s 3.4 months of supply.

“With the COVID-19 vaccine continuing to roll out, another fiscal stimulus relief package likely on the way and historically low interest rates, the housing market will continue to thrive,” said CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Jordan Levine.

“The market outlook is stronger than previously projected as buyer demand continues to outstrip supply, but we do expect the current robust market growth to decelerate later this year as the housing shortage intensifies.”

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