Photo by Greg Rivers on Unsplash

Los Angeles is getting its groove back — traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels, outdoor patios are packed with brunch-goers, and buyers are once again competing for a limited number of homes for sale. 

From February to March, existing, single-family home sales jumped 34.3 percent despite record-low inventory that dwindled to 1.7 months of supply, according to the latest report from the California Association of Realtors (CAR). 

This pushed home prices up 0.6 percent month-over-month, resulting in a median sold price of $668,220. The typical home spent just eight days on the market, selling a week faster than the same period last year.

On an annual basis, Los Angeles home sales improved by 26.2 percent, while prices rose by 17.7 percent. It’s important to note, however, that year-over-year sales figures may be skewed by California’s initial stay-at-home order, which was issued on March 19, 2020. Homebuying activity came to an abrupt halt in the latter half of the month although pending transactions helped to prop up sales totals.

Statewide, there were 446,410 closed sales of existing, single-family homes on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 3.5 percent from the previous month and up 19.7 percent annually. Sales have been declining since January due to the lack of available inventory in the market.

The median home price soared to a record high of $758,990, marking an 8.6 percent increase from February and a 23.9 percent surge over the same month one year ago. March was the eighth consecutive month that California’s median home price recorded a double-digit gain.

Two-thirds of homes sold above asking and the median time on market dropped to eight days, down from 10 the month before. Inventory waned to 1.6 months of supply compared to 2.0 months in February and 2.7 months in March 2020.

CAR President Dave Walsh noted that tight supply is “creating unprecedented market competition” that threatens to price out untold numbers of prospective buyers. Now that half of adults in California are partially vaccinated and nearly one-third are fully vaccinated, the number of homes on the market is expected to rise.

“With more of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in the coming months as we move into the spring home buying season, we should see home sales improve as more prospective home sellers feel comfortable listing their homes for sale,” added Walsh.

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