EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Along with home sellers, the 25 largest residential real estate brokerages in L.A. County reaped the rewards of a market fed by low interest rates and tight supply. As a group, the largest brokerages reported a 14.4 percent increase in the value of homes sold in the 12-month period ended June 30.

"It's really the extension of last year," said Paul Tom, co-owner at Century 21 Paul & Associates Realty Inc., whose firm reported a 36 percent increase in the total value of homes sold. "There is very strong housing demand coupled with low interest rates and a shortage of housing for sale."

No. 18 Dickson Podley Realtors, which changed its named in August from Dickson Realtors, registered a 29.7 percent increase in the aggregate value of home sales in the period. Chris Dickson, its president, attributed the growth to expansion in its La Canada office, as well as price appreciation, which raised the average value of sales it brokered to $466,900, compared to $379,200 for the year earlier.

All but four brokerages posted increases in aggregate sales value, and those that declined saw decreases of less than 10 percent.

Nicole Taylor

THE PACESETTER

Coldwell Banker Residential brokerage



The county's rapidly appreciating housing market made up for a slower rate of sales at L.A.'s largest residential brokerage. Though its 26,850 unit sales in the 12-months ended June 30 were 2,450 fewer than in the prior period, the company registered a 5 percent increase in aggregate home sale value.

The average price of a home sold by the company in the period was $641,600, up from $559,700 the year earlier.

"Inventory has been very tight this year," said Scott Gibson, its president and chief operating officer. "The biggest price appreciation is under $1 million and that continues to be strong in all areas."

The rate of growth in overall values paled in comparison to the year-earlier pace, when the company posted a 24.2 percent rise on the sale of 29,400 units.

Still, with $17.2 billion worth of homes sold, Coldwell remains the biggest brokerage in the county, logging more than three times the aggregate value of No. 2 Prudential California Realty.

Despite a modest increase in interest rates, Gibson hasn't yet noticed any change in behavior among homebuyers. That may change, however. "We would look for interest rates to rise over the next six to nine months and that's when inventory will build," he said.

Gibson doesn't expect the market to soften until interest rates increase significantly. "For most people it's not about closing escrow, it's being able to afford the monthly payments and looking at the economy getting better that will offset some of the increase."

Nicole Taylor

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