February 17, 2015
CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, today released its January 2015 Southern California housing market report. Home sales in January fell sharply from December, as they normally do, and dipped modestly from a year earlier, marking the 14th month in the last 16 to post a year-over-year sales decline. The median price paid for a home in the six-county region also dropped month over month but rose year over year for the 34th consecutive month, although that increase was less than half the gain of a year earlier.
A total of 13,560 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in January 2015. That was down month over month 29.4 percent from 19,205 sales in December 2014, and down year over year 6.3 percent from 14,471 sales in January 2014, according to CoreLogic DataQuick data.
On average, Southern California sales have fallen 27.6 percent between December and January since 1988, when CoreLogic DataQuick data began.
January home sales have ranged from a low of 9,983 in 2008 to a high of 26,083 in 2004. January 2015 sales were 21.7 percent below the January average of 17,322 sales since 1988.
“The January and February statistics are always interesting, and sometimes a bit strange, but they’re not necessarily a good indication of what’s to come,” said Andrew LePage, data analyst for CoreLogic DataQuick. “That’s largely because many traditional buyers and sellers drop out of the housing market during the holidays and mid winter, and therefore don’t close deals during those months. In recent years that’s led to somewhat higher concentrations of investor activity for January and February, and we saw that again last month. Heading into spring it will be interesting to see whether price appreciation and other factors will finally release a lot of the pent-up supply of homes out there. More owners have gained enough equity to sell and buy another home and more will be satisfied with how much their homes can fetch. At the same time, recent gains in job and income growth, coupled with low mortgage rates, could stoke demand and put significant pressure on prices unless we see a meaningful jump in inventory.”
The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region in January 2015 was $409,000, down 1.4 percent month over month from $415,000 in December 2014 and up 7.6 percent year over year from $380,000 in January 2014. The median hasn’t changed significantly since September 2014, when it was $413,000. The median’s peak for 2014 was $420,000 in August.
Southern California’s median sale price has risen on a year-over-year basis each month since April 2012. In the 22 months between August 2012 and May 2014 those annual gains were double digit, as high as 28.3 percent in June 2013. Since then, the year-over-year increases in the median sale price have been single-digit. In January 2014 the median rose 18.4 percent compared with January 2013 – more than twice the 7.6 percent gain when comparing January 2015 with January 2014.
The January 2015 median sale price was 19.0 percent below the peak median price of $505,000 reached in March, April, May and July of 2007. Among the region’s six counties, the January 2015 median in Orange County ($562,500) was the closest – within 12.8 percent – to its peak of $645,000 in June 2007.
Home prices in Southern California have been rising at different rates depending on price segment. In January 2015, the lowest-cost third of the region’s housing stock experienced a 9.0 percent year-over-year increase in the median price paid per square foot for resale single-family detached houses. The annual gain was 5.7 percent for the middle third of the market and 3.2 percent for the top, most-expensive third.
The number of homes that sold for $500,000 or more in January 2015 rose 2.0 percent compared with January 2014. Sales below $500,000 fell 13.8 percent year over year, and sales below $200,000 dropped 30.3 percent.
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