Sales Going Soft in West Hollywood

In mid-March, I wrote a post about the state of home and condo sales in West Hollywood.  At that time, there were 69 single-family homes for sale in WeHo, with another 65 homes sold in the last three months, so the pace of sales was pretty decent.  Condos, though, were a different story:  There were 230 condos on the market, but only 82 sales in the past three months.

How has the picture changed since then? Here’s how it looks today. (March figures are in parentheses.)west-hollywood.gif

Single-Family Homes
For sale: 76 (69)
Average listing price: $1,399,000 ($1,395,000)
Average price/sq. foot: $861 ($739)
Average days on market: 109 ($103)

Sold since 2/25/08: 33 (65)
Average sold price: $1,100,000 ($1,130,000)
Average price/sq. foot:  $584 ($722)

Notes:  The number of homes for sale and average listing price have remained virtually unchanged since March.  But the number of homes sold has dropped by half. And the disparity between listing price and sold price has widened:  In March, the average sold price per square foot was only $17 less than the asking price per square foot.  Today, those numbers are nearly $300 apart, which shows that buyers want and expect lower prices.

Condos
For sale: 282 (230)
Average listing price: $749,000 ($717,000)
Average price/sq. foot: $662 ($620)
Average days on market: 77 (70)

Sold since 2/25/08: 63 (82)
Average sold price: $555,000 ($528,000)
Average price/sq. foot:  $567 ($507)

Notes:  In March, there were nearly three times more condos on the market than had sold in the past three months; today, there are nearly five times more.  Part of that might be due to the cluelessness of the sellers:  Listing prices have actually risen in the last two months.  People, if you want to get your place sold, lower the price!

So it looks like we’re seeing the housing slump start to slowly creep into the more-desirable areas.  We’ll do another report in two months.

  • http://terrafirmala.com Christopher

    Cindy,

    I think you do a fantastic job with this blog!

    However, I would raise two questions about your analysis in this case:

    1) Comparing different months is inherently problematic (i.e. March sales vs. April sales). In a normal or down market, the volume of home sales follow a fairly regular up and down cycle throughout the year with some months always selling more or less then others.

    2) March was a crazy month. Recorded sales in March are generally purchases made in February. Recorded sales in April are generally purchases made in March. If you recall, March was the month when tremendous financial turmoil hit like a rock — the stock market bottomed, Bear Stearns collapsed, and in general anyone and everyone was spooked by what was going on. Since then, some normalcy has returned. I’ve looked at a lot of sales numbers lately and April sales were really bad almost anyway you look at it because of the March financial turmoil.

    Just some food for thought as you continue looking at sales numbers.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/author/cindy.allen Cindy Allen

    Hi, Chris: Thanks for the kind words. Actually, what I was doing was comparing mid-March with the end of May. The homes/condos sold comparison is 12/15/07 to 3/15/08 vs. 2/25/08 to 5/25/08. The listings snapshots are on March 15 and May 26, respectively. Since I’m comparing a slow period to a traditionally brisker period, wouldn’t you expect the picture to be better February through May than December through February?

  • http://terrafirmala.com Christopher

    Yes, that period should normally be better.

    However, that gets more to the point in #2. April sales were just plain bad everywhere. My experience was people were just scared to buy anything in March. But I think that’s improved some since then.

    The next period will be the really telling one. I’ve crunched numbers in other areas but not West Hollywood yet. How are you defining West Hollywood?

  • http://losangeles.redfin.com/blog/author/cindy.allen Cindy Allen

    Hi, Christopher: I punched in West Hollywood in the Redfin search field. My understanding is that it’s the official city boundaries.

    Just to clarify, the stats aren’t just April sales; they’re Feb. 25-May 25. I am eager to see what July looks like as well.

    Please feel free to add your crunched numbers to the blog; I’m sure everyone would love to see them. Or provide a link to your blog.