“Last month’s sharp drop in home sales stands out in several ways,” said Andrew LePage, a CoreLogic analyst, noting that will This specific was the slowest pace in 11 years as well as the largest decline for any month in more than eight years. “This specific drop in activity reflects a variety of factors. Mortgage rates hit a 2018 high in November, affecting December closings, as well as stock-market volatility created yet another headwind in high-end markets. Meanwhile, some could-be buyers remain priced out or unwilling to buy amid concerns that will prices have overshot a sustainable level.”
The median cost paid for all Southern California homes sold in December was $515,000, up 1.1 percent year over year. When adjusted for inflation, the December 2018 median was still 13.2 percent below its peak in July 2007.
“The roughly 1 percent annual increase in Southern California’s median sale cost last month marked the lowest such gain inside uninterrupted string of year-over-year increases each month that will began in April 2012,” LePage said. “The median’s annual increases have declined over the past year as home sales slowed as well as inventory rose. The median’s tiny annual gain last month also reflects a shift in market mix, where higher-end sales represented a slightly lower share of all activity compared with December 2017.”
Sales of newly built homes fared particularly badly, down more than 50 percent by their average over the last 30 years. Much of that will will be because builders are still building far fewer homes since the housing crash, as well as part will be because prices for newly built homes continue to soar.
“Half of America can only afford a $230,000 mortgage, as well as the builders in not bad locations just can’t get down to anywhere near that will,” said John Burns, CEO of California-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “Eleven of the top 19 builders, their average sales cost will be above 400 grand.”
WATCH: Affordability affecting the housing market