Cash Buyers Slowing, Home Price Gains and Low Inventory In Southern California

Looking toward downtown Long Beach from Bluff Park
For quite a while the price increases have been pretty noticeable, but on closer look it's not the same for all segments of the Southern California real estate market.  According to Dataquick,
"In December, the lowest-cost third of the region's housing stock experienced a 12.9 percent year-over-year increase in the median price paid per square foot for resale single-family detached houses. The annual gain was 6.3 percent for the middle third of the market and 2.3 percent for the top, most-expensive third."

And the Southern California six-county median price for a single family home is still 17% lower than the median peak price in 2007.  While all cash transactions are decreasing in some states and regions because prices have increased enough to make returns unattractive to real estate investors, low inventory is still prominent.  Overall, the number of home sales in Southern California was more than 8% less in 2014 when compared to 2013.  This need for more homes to sell is evident in just about every local city and zip code, especially in the market below $500,000.  In Long Beach in December, 2014, there were 371 houses for sale, which put the "months supply of inventory"  at 2.1 months, a decrease of 12.5% from December 2013.   Townhouses and condos were only slightly better at 2.2 months of inventory in Long Beach.  Normal inventory levels are for a 6 months supply.  The average home sale price in Long Beach was $535,000, while the median was $464,000 for December.

At the moment, there is a demand for houses in the more affordable $400,000-$500,000 range in the Long Beach area.  For a comparable sales analysis, always a good way to get a current market education, please contact me via phone or e-mail.  Even if you don't plan on selling right now, there are good reasons why you should get a good estimate of value from an experienced professional. (Remember, sites such as Zillow offer information based on tax records, which do not tell the whole story of your home's value.) In an economy where appraisals and mortgages are still quite stringent, a professional REALTOR is the best source for finding out about market value.

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