Despite the pandemic, Southern California home prices rebounded in July for a second straight month, with medians at all-time highs in five out of six counties, new housing numbers by CoreLogic/DQ News showed Thursday, Aug. 20.
This time, sales revived, too, rising to the highest level for any month in two years. The sales surge occurred despite a paucity of homes on the market.
Record low mortgage rates continued to motivate house hunters to venture back into the market, even as unemployment remained stubbornly high.
Stronger sales of higher-priced properties also pushed the averages higher, a Realtor economist said. Those who buy more expensive homes are less impacted by the economic recession and are more likely to buy, said Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors.
The median price of a Southern California home, or price at the mid-point of all sales, was $585,000 in July, up 8.5% year over year and $30,000 more than June’s record high.
And after three straight months of drastically plunging home sales, transactions rose 2.5% from year-ago levels last month to 22,656 homes sold.
That’s almost double the number of sales in May, which reflected deals signed at the height of pandemic lockdowns. And last month’s sales were the highest for a July in five years.
San Bernardino County was the only local jurisdiction without an all-time high price, although its median did hit the highest level since prices set a record there in November 2006.
Sales rose in four Southern California counties.
Here’s a breakdown by county of home sales and prices:
Los Angeles County: 6,818 homes sold, down 2.3% over 12 months. Year to date, 34,594 sales — down 16% vs. 2019. The July median was $670,000, up 5.5% from the year before.
Orange County: 3,450 homes sold, up 6.7%. Year to date, 16,917 sales — down 9% vs. 2019. The July median was the region’s highest at $775,000 up 6.3% from a year ago.
Riverside County: 4,054 homes sold, down 0.4%. Year to date, 21,641 sales — down -10% vs. 2019.The July median was $430,000, equal to June’s record and up 9.1%.
San Bernardino County: 3,057 homes sold, up 8.1%. Year to date, 16,044 sales — down 4% vs. 2019. The July median was the region’s cheapest at $375,000, up 9.8% and the highest monthly median since the price hit $380,000 13 years ago.
San Diego County: 4,253 homes sold, up 6.6%. Year to date, 21,431 sales — down 7% vs. 2019. The July median was $634,000 up 9.3%.
Ventura County: 1,024 homes sold, up 2.6%. Year to date, 4,989 sales — down 11% vs. 2019. The July median was $635,000, up 6.7%.
Regional sales: Year to date, 115,616 sales — down 11% vs. 2019.
Price: Record highs set in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Ventura counties. Riverside County’s mediam tied the record set in June.
Single-family houses: 16,044 sold in the six counties, up 1.9% in a year. The median selling price was $625,000 — a 10.2% increase over 12 months.
Condos: 4,977 sales across the region, up 7.8% over 12 months. Median? $485,000 — a 6.6% increase in a year.
Newly built: Local builders sold 1,635 new homes, down 5.5% in a year. Median? $565,000 — a 2.5% increase over 12 months.
Builder share: 7.2% of SoCal sales vs. 7.8% a year earlier. Between 1998 and 2018, new homes accounted for 13.4% of all homes purchased.