Photo by Florian Schmidinger on Unsplash

The Los Angeles real estate market is showing no signs of slowing down.

According to a new report from residential real estate brokerage Douglas Elliman, new signed contracts for Los Angeles County condos and single-family homes “more than doubled year over year by the highest rate in at least fourteen months.”

The eye-popping annual comparisons are a result of the slowdown in sales that occurred during the spring of 2020, but a 14-month analogy allows us to see how the current pace of pending sales measures up to pre-pandemic times.

A total of 4,023 deals were inked for single-family homes in May, a 79.4 percent jump over the same period last year but down 5.1 percent from the previous month. The largest share of home sales was in the $500,000 to $899,000 range, although a considerable number were priced between $1 million and $4.99 million.

New listings plummeted 51.8 percent year-over-year to 2,413 properties. Inventory fell across all price tiers but was particularly discouraging for buyers with budgets under $500,000. There was a 6.3 percent uptick in the number of new single-family home listings from April to May, but supply still lagged far behind year-ago levels.

New signed contracts for condos surged 235.9 percent compared to May 2020, with 1,508 units going from ‘active’ to ‘pending.’ Condos were a hard product to move last spring as amenities were closed to residents and some buildings enacted strict health and safety measures that limited in-person showings.

The largest number of pending condo sales were those priced between $300,000 and $499,000, suggesting that buyers priced out of the single-family market are opting for comparatively affordable multi-family units instead. Meantime, there was a sharp yearly rise in pending sales for high-priced condos in the $1 million to $2 million-plus range.

Fresh condo listings dropped 11.9 percent year-over-year to 1,049 units. This marked a slight decrease from April when 1,071 condos hit the market. Inventory is down on an annual basis for condos priced under $599,000 and up notably for those asking over $600,000.

Report author Jonathan Miller, also the president and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., wrote that across both housing types “new inventory has fallen annually by a significant rate in each of the past seven months.”

Housing experts had forecast that a wave of new listings would arrive once vaccination rates improved but so far that prediction has failed to materialize. Low inventory is keeping prices at record highs and mortgage rates haven’t budged enough to discourage buyers from entering the already red-hot Los Angeles market.

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