There’s a lull in LA’s high-end market action at the moment, so Yolanda thought we’d take advantage of this (temporary) quiet to experiment with something a wee bit different today. Just to keep things fresh. Y’all understand. And since the folks over at Douglas Elliman were kind enough to send us their Q3 market reports a couple weeks back, we thought a number-crunching dissection would be just the ticket.
And if you aren’t feeling this post, well, you know what to do. Keep it movin’. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming shortly.
Lots of people are foretelling an upcoming slump for our current housing bull market — and indeed, LA prices have been on the upswing for 9+ years now, so we’re long overdue for a slide. Still, according to the Elliman report, the market is still peaking. In Q3, the median sales price in the Greater LA area (including the Westside and Downtown neighborhoods) reached an all-time record high of $1,525,000.
That figure is up 5.9% over the same period last year, but what Yolanda found more significant is that average square footage of homes purchased actually dropped by 3.2% to 2,269-square-feet. What that means, for all you dunces out there (just kidding!) is that people are paying more money for smaller houses. The buyers are voracious and the market still bloodthirsty.
So it’s clear our bull hasn’t been herded back into the corral just yet.
In Beverly Hills, the average sales price was a rather shocking $7,075,034 from 58 units, up a whopping 33.5% from last year. And in Brentwood, another new record was notched as the average sales price reached $4,580,434. Similar stories were told in Santa Monica and Century City/Westwood.
Record highs weren’t recorded in every neighborhood, however, as the average price in Malibu fell by 17.4% year over year to $4,350,362, and Pacific Palisades slid by 5.5% to $3,888,898. Yet in nearly every luxury area — regardless of whether the average sale price fell or grew — the average days on market for available homes dropped. Buyers are snapping up new listings faster than ever for (generally speaking) more money than ever.
Obviously all good things (or bad, depending how you look at it) can’t go on forever. Eventually — possibly very soon — the market will stabilize and prices will begin to fall off again. As any longtime real estate agent will tell you, the market is cyclical and always realigns itself with time.
But for now, it is clear that residential real estate sales are brisk and experiencing few — if any — symptoms of weakness. How long that will last given rising interest rates and a wobbly stock market is open for debate. Sellers with homes currently up for purchase, however, should have little to fear — provided their property is priced correctly. Good news for y’all is that buyers are still going full throttle.
And that’s also good news for realtors, money lenders, escrow officers, architects, contractors and inspectors. On and on it goes. And hey, it’s good for property gossip writer folks like Yolanda, too. Maybe we can keep the lights on for a few more weeks; get the ol’ Cadillac the oil change she deserves.