Fierce competition for a limited number of homes pushed house prices higher in March, with Southern California homebuyers paying the highest median prices in more than a decade, new Realtor figures show.
Orange County house prices hit an all-time high in March, while prices in the Inland Empire hit their highest level since August 2007, the California Association of Realtors reported Tuesday, April 17.
Prices showed significant year-over-year gains throughout the region.
The median price of an existing Los Angeles County house, for example, jumped 13.6 percent to $528,980, Realtor figures show. That’s up $63,000 from March 2017.
Orange County’s median – or price at the midpoint of all sales – rose 8.5 percent or more than $64,000 to an all-time high of $824,450. That’s was the seventh highest median among California’s 58 counties.
The state’s priciest homes still can be found in six Bay Area counties, four of them with median prices north of $1 million: San Francisco ($1.7 million), San Mateo ($1.6 million), Santa Clara ($1.5 million), Marin ($1.4 million), Alameda ($955,000) and Santa Cruz ($910,000).
Inland Empire prices are more affordable, but still rising fast: Riverside County’s median hit $398,000 – also the highest since the Great Recession and up 6.1 percent (or $23,000) from March 2017. In San Bernardino County, the median was $280,000, up 7.7 percent or $20,000 year over year.
The CAR report is the first in a series of market releases tracking March home prices.
Fewer homes changed hands at these prices, in part because for-sale listings are at four-year lows. Transactions fell 5.9 percent in Los Angeles and Orange counties and were down 5.7 percent in the Inland Empire, Realtor figures show. San Bernardino County was Southern California’s only county with an increase: Transactions there rose 0.4 percent.
“The housing market performed solidly throughout the state in March, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, … (with) the median price surging by double-digits in seven of nine counties,” said CAR President Steve White.
“On the other hand, sales in the Southern California region have cooled for the past five months, even in the more affordable Riverside and San Bernardino areas.”
Sales were slightly stronger in the state as a whole, rising 1.6 percent from March 2017 levels.
If March’s sales pace continued for a full year, existing single-family home transactions would total 423,990, CAR reported.
California’s median home price was $564,830, up 8.9 percent from the year before.
“Inventory still remains tight, which is driving home prices higher,” said CAR Chief Economist Leslie-Appleton-Young. “Housing demand remains strong and competition is fierce.”
Douglas J. Sedam
The Paseo Financial Group Inc.
27413 Tourney Road #140
Valencia CA 91355
Phone: 661.295.2400 #1
Toll Free: 866.549.3900
The Paseo Financial Group, Inc. encompasses the following companies: The Home Loan Pros – Residential, Investment, & Commercial Real Estate Mortgages. Oak Tree Realty – Residential, Investment, & Commercial Real Estate Sales. The Financial Services Pros – Investments, Insurance, & Retirement Planning.