Southern California Resale Housing Market to Remain Strong for the Foreseeable Future

Coldwell Banker Realty Southern California President Jamie Duran notes the following regarding the Southern California real estate market as of November 30, 2021.  

  • Beginning July of 2020 through today, the market began rebounding from the pandemic with a flourish and shows no signs of letting up.
  • Buyers are still faced with crowds of interest on just about every home that hits the market.
  • It is more important than ever to have a trained, full-time, experienced Realtor to represent your interests in what is usually the largest financial transaction of your life.
Current inventory levels remain an issue.
  • Southern California began November of 2021 with 36,322 active listings, representing 27% below pre-Covid levels of October of 2019. 
  • New listings continued their three-month downward trend. This month,18,011 new listings hit the market. This was a 6% decrease from the prior month of October 2021, when 19,106 homes went up for sale. 
  • Closed sales of 43,282 were 17% more than last month but 6% less than November of 2020 when the Southern California real estate market continued to roar back from the pandemic induced slump.
  • Active listing inventory declined 17% from October and remained well below typical inventory levels at this time of year.  November active listings were 56% and 33% lower than inventory levels in November of 2019 and 2020 respectively.
  • The average selling price for a home remained above one million dollars at $1,023,210 for the eighth straight month since reaching that milestone in April.  This average sales price reflects an 18% improvement in the last year.

Following a record year for real estate, stories warning of another housing bubble are working their way into today’s news cycle despite most experts’ belief that although homes are overvalued, there is no sign the housing market is in a bubble. Predatory lending practices that contributed to the housing crash of 2008 are not an element of this market, and the current market should balance naturally over the next few months.

Duran cites the following opinions of leading industry economists:
  • Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist at Kukun, a real estate analytics company, says “In the long run, the party won’t go on forever, but it will absolutely go on for the next five to 10 years. Millennials are driving the housing market, and even Gen X and baby boomers are looking for places to live — so that’s all-healthy demand.”
  • A recent report by Goldman Sachs acknowledges the potential demand problems. Still, analysts at the leading investment bank are betting on new household formation from millennials. The report states that “while the huge increase in home prices over the last year has reduced housing affordability, housing in the U.S. remains affordable relative to historical standards because rates are still low and household incomes have remained largely intact.”
  • International investors in real estate have dropped off slightly due to the pandemic but are expected to rise in the coming months. These investors are attracted to the U.S. market because of factors such as favorable debt terms, low property valuations (when compared to other countries), positive cash flow and relative stability.

Stephen Thomas in Reports on Housing likens the current real estate market to your car’s gas tank.  Thomas says, “In climbing into the family car to run errands, there are times when the fuel gauge light is on, a reminder that gas is needed as soon as possible. At this point, some people decide to wait and save a few minutes and get the job at hand completed. Watching the miles remaining dwindle on the instrument panel can be unnerving. When it reaches zero, panic sets in and pushing it any further becomes a gamble. Finally, after waiting until there are drops left in the gas tank, the car rolls into a gas station running on empty and the fuel prices are higher than ever”.                                        

High-end Luxury Market is Strong
  • In the last twelve months ended January, 30, 2021, sold volume of homes greater than $10,000,000 once again almost doubled to $17,943,992,100 from $9,524,470,350 in the prior 12-month period.
  • Volume of homes sold greater than $5,000,000 also almost doubled in the last 12 months ended November 20, 2021 to $47,289,438,470 from $25,571,213,124 in the prior 12-month period.
In conclusion, Duran states:

“There’s no doubting it. The last two years have been some of the craziest years in the history of real estate.  While experts are noticing home sales slightly slowing, that definitely doesn’t mean the market is slow. It’s just returning to a more balanced one than we have seen in recent years.”