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LA home prices stay put in October

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Is Southern California’s competitive real estate market softening?

Craftsman house in Bungalow Heaven
LA’s median home price in October was $595,000.
Photo by Liz Kuball

Home prices in Los Angeles County didn’t budge in October, according to a new report from real estate tracker CoreLogic.

The report finds that the county’s median home price remained at $595,000 during the month, unchanged from September. Across all of Southern California, prices inched up 0.3 percent in October.

These stagnant prices come after a sharp decline in September, when the median amount paid for homes fell 3.3 percent from levels set in August. Still, the median price is up 5.3 percent over October 2017, when the typical LA home sold for $565,000.

The report provides more evidence that the local real estate market may be favoring sellers less than in recent years. The number of homes sold during the month—6,383—was also 7.2 percent below the 6,878 residences purchased in October 2017.

The sluggish October sales continue “a slowing trend that began during the heart of this year’s spring-summer homebuying season,” says CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage.

As the number of homes available for sale goes up, says LePage, more buyers may be waiting to see if more price reductions are on the horizon.

For now, he points out, Southern California is still far from a buyer’s market. Though prices have dropped in recent months, as recently as August they were at an all-time high.

Rising interest rates have also made mortgages less affordable for buyers. Though prices across all of Southern California are up 6.1 percent since last year, mortgage payments for a typical home rose a hefty 18.4 percent in that time.

That means prices still have a long way to go before they fall to the point where buyers gain the upper hand.