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Market Overview

Southern California Home Sales Weak In November


Home sales in Southern California fell sharply in November as absentee investors pulled out of the market.

In the six-county region centered on Los Angeles, November home sales dropped to their lowest level in seven years, according to Corelogic Inc.'s (NYSE: CLGX) DataQuick unit.

The drop was laid in part to two fewer days available for recording deals in November 2014 than average for the month.

But absentee buyers – mostly investors – bought 23.5 percent of the homes sold in November, down from 26.8 percent in November 2013.

The peak absentee share was 32.4 percent in January 2013, while the monthly average since 2000, when the CoreLogic DataQuick absentee data begin, is about 19 percent.

"Southern California home sales are closing on a low note in 2014," DataQuick's Andrew LePage said in a statement. "Inventory still lags demand in many markets and traditional buyers haven't filled the void left by the investors who've pulled out."

There were also more signs of home prices flattening out, according to CoreLogic.

The region's median sale price has changed little over the last three months.

November marked the sixth consecutive month in which the median had a single-digit year-over-year gain, following 22 months of double-digit increases.

Price per square foot for the lowest-cost third of the region's single-family homes grew 12.9 percent from a year earlier while the middle third increased 6.3 percent.

Prices for the most expensive top third of the market there increased 2.3 percent in November.


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