The housing market in the LA area is looking like a Soviet grocery store to a lot of buyers right now: Empty shelves and a lot of hands grabbing for what’s there. And while it’s true that the inventory is down sharply, there are still gems that are being listed. The only problem is that you have to act fast to get them, since a lot of them are going pending within days, often after a brief but ferocious bidding war.
The data below are the main trends for the City of Los Angeles, but you can see the housing market data for the entire LA area here.
The perfect storm for sellers in LA
Buyers? They’re definitely hungry in LA. March saw a 24.6% spike in home sales from February, making it one of the most active months in the last year for home sales.
Sellers? The extraordinarily few home sellers out don’t have to worry about much competition. Inventory in the city of LA in March was down 16.7% from February, and down 38.7% from last March. That’s the lowest we’ve seen in the last year. When you combine the fast pace of sales with the low number of homes for sale, we’re seeing a lot of competition, bidding wars, fast sales and frustrated buyers.
In fact, of LA-area cities with more than 100 homes for sale, only one showed monthly growth: Inventory in Beverly Hills grew 0.4%, from 263 homes for sale in February to 264 homes in March. Even still, inventory there was down 29.8% year over year.
Prices stay put
Even with the increased demand, buyers aren’t ready to pay much more to buy a home in the LA area. The median single-family home price is up 5% month over month, and 0.6% year over year to $355,000. Condos moved a bit more, with a median price increase of 5.5% month over month to $290,000. If the inventory freefall continues, buyers will have to make a choice: Offer more money, or stay on the sidelines.