“I focus on 12 zip codes in the mid-city and south regions of Los Angeles. There are numerous forces impacting our local market that have lead to extremely low inventory levels. Low prices & interest rates making it attractive for homeowners to buy, large financial institutions buying large volume of inventory for long term rentals (removing inventory from the marketplace for indefinite periods), a slowdown in the amount of foreclosures and abuse of use of short sales as a “live-in-my-house-for-free” strategy by unscrupulous homeowners and real estate agents.
6 months inventory is considered a normal market. As you can see on the attached chart the months of inventory in my area is .72 to 2.73, with the average number being 1.6, this is an extremely low level.
There is a short window where sellers have an opportunity to sell into strength but interest rates are rising fast and in 12-18 months if interest rates rise to 5% + sellers that are being greedy and waiting for prices to rise to 2006 peak levels are going to feel really dejected and we may start seeing an increase in strategic defaults again.”
– M. Ben Nicolas, IET Real Estate
“The last 6 months have been an exciting time in the LA housing market. We’ve emerged from a 5+ year downturn straight into one of the hottest markets in memory. At all price levels we are seeing the same theme: low inventory and tons of buyers. This has created feverish multiple offer situations and very low market times.
Price levels have soared – especially at the entry point, where home prices are up 30% or more. In the middle ranges from $500k-$2M, prices are up anywhere from 10-20% depending on area. This has yet to inspire a flood of sellers, and many people believe that we are only at the beginning of the market cycle.
Finally, the big theme of the recovery is how solid it is – instead of being based on overly aggressive adjustable loans, more than half of sales are now all cash, and the average loan has a 22% down payment. Investors from around the world are flocking to prime areas of Los Angeles to invest in our real estate. Expect a continuation of this for the near future as the market does not appear to be slowing down.“
– Richard Schulman, RichardSchulman.com
“California has been a real estate trendsetter for the rest of the country. If you want to have a better understanding of industry trends and merchandising strategies in California, keep a close watch on the real estate market conditions in Los Angeles. Reports show that U.S. International home sales grew from $66.5 to $82.5 billion in 2012, 9 percent of which represents the U.S. residential market.
According to the National Association of Realtors® 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, “total residential international sales in the U.S. for the past year ending March 2012 equaled $82.5 billion, up from $66.4 billion in 2011.” Recent immigrants and foreign investors had been the active buyers of international sales in US for last few years, when prices of real estate were declining. The advantageous conditions that compelled foreign investors to make investment in the USA are low housing prices, increased buying power with decent exchange rates, and good inventory conditions. However, according to some executives of real estate in Los Angeles, this trend is going into reverse.
According to Trulia, the median sales price for homes in Los Angeles CA for Feb 13 to Apr 13 was $405,000. This represents an increase of 9.5%, or $35,000, compared to the prior quarter and an increase of 34.5% compared to the prior year. Sales prices have decreased 8.4% over the last 5 years in Los Angeles. The average listing price for Los Angeles homes for sale on Trulia was $1,338,867 for the week ending May 22, which represents an increase of 1.8%, or $23,160, compared to the prior week and an increase of 1.3%, or $16,862, compared to the week ending May 01. Average price per square foot for Los Angeles CA was $340, an increase of 25.9% compared to the same period last year.
California, Texas, New York, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia are the most popular states that attract international home buyers. The Los Angeles real estate market has been the favored place for buying property for Chinese homebuyers after Canadian buyers. According to real estate analysts, better economic conditions, easy travel sanctions, and business ties contributed a lot to attract International investors in the United States of America.
The Chinese spend more money on buying homes in Los Angeles. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the Chinese population has grown 19.47% between 2000 to 2010. Residents of Chinese descent comprise 4% of total population in Los Angeles. The great housing recession is finally over and property values are rising again, according to the current market trends.”
– Emmanuel Lao, LosAngelesRealEstateUnlimited.com
“I have seen the market in Los Angeles go from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market almost instantly in January. The market jumped 10% in Mt Washington/Glassell park within the last four months. Affordability was at an all time high and rates at an all time low which made the market ripe for a turnaround. In my personal experience I had a buyer looking for a home for her son. The property went from a list price of $415,000 to a sales price of $542,000 (all cash). My buyer won out eventually but we were competing with 83 other offers. The current state of the market is that it feels like 2004 when there was a feeding frenzy and prices jumped through the roof. Buyer will have to pay a lot more than they thought to get a home right now. If it’s an affordable monthly payment, buy- but don’t buy for speculation.”
– Matt Manner, Extraordinary Real Estate
“Both first time and move up buyers are being beat out of listings by cash buyers. And this is happening more and more often. At a further disadvantage are those buyers with low down payments, or approved only for FHA and VA financing. FHA and VA financing can take longer to close and the appraisers have different standards.
I have found that we are writing more and more offers, especially in the more affordable price ranges. First time buyers need to be especially persistent or they will be squeezed out of the housing market.”
– Phyllis Harb, LA Real Estate Blog / RealtorHarb.com
“Interest rates went up this week. Conforming loan rates are now hovering around 4.2%-4.3%. The lenders that I’ve spoken with don’t expect them to go down much in the near future, if at all. They are still at historic lows, but that probably doesn’t make you feel much better if you’re a buyer.
And here are some interesting local stats from California Association of Realtors:
– From 2001 – 2007, all-cash purchases were about 6.2%-8.4% of total sales,
– In April 2013, all cash purchases were 29.3% of total sales,
– 27% of California sales are to non-U.S. citizens,
– 66% of investor buyers are holding for the long term,
– 75% plan to hold for about 6 years,
– 25% are flippers,
– 67% investors are paying cash,
– For those who sell, the return on investment is around 14%,
– 78% of investor purchases were single family homes,
– 14% were multi-family homes.
Will this all change? Of course. When? I don’t know. But the real estate market has really surprised all of us with its quick turn arounds in the last few years.”
– Judy Graff, JudyGraff.com