California home sales fell 11.5% in March from February levels, the first double-digit month-over-month decline in more than nine years and the largest since August 2007, a reported the California Association of Realtors on Thursday, April 15.
Median house prices, however, held steady with an 8.3% statewide gain from March 2019 levels, reaching just over $ 612,000.
CAR’s report was the first to show how statewide stay-at-home orders and the coronavirus outbreak impacted the housing market as home visits were reduced.
And as the epidemic did not fully hit the local economy until mid-month, April’s sales and price figures are expected to show even steeper declines.
In Southern California, the impact was not as severe last month as it was across the state.
March sales of existing single-family homes rose 20% from February in the Los Angeles metro area and fell 0.1% from last year’s levels, according to State Realtor figures.
Although small, this is the first year-over-year sales decline in seven months. In comparison, sales in the LA metro area jumped 13.7% from a year earlier in February.
The median price of homes in the area – or price in the middle of all sales – was $ 556,250 in March, up 7.6% from a year ago.
The Los Angeles metro area includes the counties of LA, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura.
Gains in home sales across counties, which were in or near double digits in February, also turned around in March, according to CAR figures.
For example, LA County saw a 2.9% drop in sales from the previous year, down from a 9.3% annual increase in February.
Orange County posted a 1.6% gain in sales, up from a 34.7% increase in February. Riverside County also saw a net increase in home sales of 4.5% in March, up from 11.3% the month before.
Sales in San Bernardino County fell 3.7%, from a 9.6% increase in February.
“The relatively moderate drop in sales that occurred in March is just a prelude to what we’ll see in April and May, as sales were still modestly strong in the first two weeks of March before orders were placed. in place cannot be implemented statewide, âsaid CAR President Jeanne Radsick of Bakersfield.
Pending sales, which better reflect current market conditions, have fallen nearly 25%, Radsick said.
This, Radsick said, suggests that “the decline could extend beyond the next two months, depending on the length of the pandemic and the lockdown.”
Median house prices have all risen from the previous year’s levels in Southern California, with records even reached in Orange and Riverside counties.
The Orange County median of $ 882,000 and the Riverside County median of $ 435,000 were both records dating back to 1991.
The median price of a Los Angeles County home was $ 567,910 last month, up 8.1% year on year. The San Bernardino County median was $ 316,000, up 2%.
All major areas of the state saw sales decline from a year ago, with the largest decline in the Bay Area, where sales fell 12.1% year-on-year ‘other.
“While the median home price continued to rise sharply in March, most, if not all, of the sales made were negotiated from mid-February to the end of February, before the COVID-19 outbreak. “said the chief economist of the CAR, Leslie Appleton. -Young.
“Yet the rapidly deteriorating economy, the sharp decline in the financial market and record job losses were not factored into the March closed sales, but will become evident in the months to come,” he said. she declared.