Property & Mortgages

Southern California property market bounces back

Southern California property

Southern California home prices and sales bounced back from a 2019 housing slump, with prices up nearly 7% and sales jumping almost 18%, reports DQ News

Southern California home prices and sales bounced back last month from a 2019 housing slump, with prices up nearly 7% and sales jumping almost 18% in the year ending in January, a DQ News report based on CoreLogic data shows.

Homebuyers snatched up 14,944 new and existing homes in January, up 17.8% from the same month a year earlier, DQ News reported Monday, Feb. 24. That’s the second-biggest biggest year-over-year percentage gain in the six-county region in more than three years.

Meanwhile, the median price of a Southern California home — or the price at the midpoint of all sales — was $533,000, up 6.6% from a year earlier, according to DQ News. That’s a record price for the month of January and the second–biggest appreciation rate in almost 1 1/2 years.

Last month’s median was just $8,250 below the all-time high of $541,250 reached in June, CoreLogic figures show.

Records for a January home price also were set in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.

The housing market fell into a slump after mortgage interest rates soared in late 2018, almost hitting 5% for a 30-year fixed mortgage, according to Freddie Mac.

As of last week, rates had dropped almost 1 1/2 percentage points, resulting in a $432 cut in monthly mortgage payments for a $510,400 loan. After about nine months of steadily declining mortgage rates, the local housing market picked up again in mid-summer.

Still, last month’s sales lag the January tallies for 2017 and 2018, when more than 15,000 homes changed hands each month. January’s percentage jump reflects a return to a more normal sales pace following the spike in mortgage rates in late 2018.

Last month’s sales also were the lowest of the past year, reflecting the typical seasonal slowdown. January sales represent transactions signed during the holiday season, when most home buyers and sellers take a break.

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