Mortgage rates top 7% for the first time since 2002, chilling L.A. housing market
The median price of a single-family home in Los Angeles County last year dropped to $570,000, the lowest since September 2002, when the market was in its steepest real estate plunge since the Great Depression, according to Realtor.com.
The median price of a single-family home has now been at or below $500,000, the lowest mark since late 2007, well before the economy’s post-recession boom, according to Realtor.com.
The year-ago price increase was a little more than 4%, but still below the 6% to 8% increases typically experienced in years of boom.
But the median home’s price is still well above last year’s peak — when the average was $505,000.
And the numbers are unlikely to ease this year.
The median home price could dip again to the $550,000 range this summer, perhaps after the July Fourth holiday, when a record-breaking number of Americans will descend upon the county’s suburbs and beachfront communities to celebrate Independence Day.
After several years of rapid price increases — which was partly fueled by the booming housing market — investors and speculators flooded into L.A.’s real estate market as a result of the housing boom.
Home sales have fallen off in recent years after the real estate market slowed to a crawl during the recession, and the median price has started to dip.
But a huge number of homes for sale are still on the market, and many of them are priced below the median price, which is now much further below its peak — and is still more than 10% below the peak that was reached in 2007.
The Los Angeles County Assn. of Realtors (LACAR) expects the median price to be between $460,000 and $500,000 by the end of this year.
That’s a lot higher than the previous record high — a median price of $450,000 in 2008.
It’s also well above the median price of $463,000 that was hit just a few months ago.
The reason is simple — buyers have been reluctant to get into the real estate