Photo by Henning Witzel on Unsplash

Back to school did not mean back to reality for the Los Angeles region’s single-family home market. 

In September, the median sold price of an existing, single-family home climbed 15.6 percent over the same period last year to $630,000, according to new data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR). Defying expectations that the market would peak in August, the total number of home sales increased by 5.8 percent month-over-month.

The unsold inventory index sunk to 2.2 months of supply, down from 3.7 months in September 2019. Dwindling selection didn’t stop Los Angeles area homebuyers from competing for properties, though — the typical single-family home spent just 11 days on the market. That’s four days fewer than August and a whopping 16-day difference compared to the year prior.

Existing, single-family home sales spiked 21.2 percent statewide to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 489,590 units. California hasn’t seen such a breakneck pace in home sale activity since February 2009.

“As motivated buyers continue to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in history, home sales will be elevated in the next couple of months, and the housing market should remain a bright spot in a broader economy that continues to struggle,” said CAR President Jeanne Radsick.

At $712,430, the median price of a single-family home rose for the fourth consecutive month, up 0.8 percent from August and 17.6 percent over September 2019. This annual price jump shattered a February 2014 record and beat out the six-month average of 5.3 percent observed between March and August of this year.

Single-family homes sat on the market for a median of 11 days last month, the shortest duration in CAR’s history. In contrast to September 2019, the typical home was snatched up about two weeks quicker.

All of this is seemingly good news for sellers, and the majority of consumers polled by CAR (56 percent) agreed that it is a favorable time to list a property. That being said, if the housing market’s trajectory continues unabated, it could further widen economic disparities in the state.

“With the shortest time on market in recent memory, an alarmingly low supply of homes for sale, and the fastest price growth in six and a half years, the market’s short-term gain can also be its weakness in the longer term as the imbalance of supply and demand could lead to more housing shortages and deeper affordability issues,” concluded CAR Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.

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