Home sales volume and prices increased during the month of April compared with the first three months of the year, when adjusted for the number of selling days.
There were a total of 4,152 homes sold in Los Angeles County during April, a slight decline from the 4,186 sold in April 2009. However, last month’s sales total outperformed each of the first three months of 2010 in price and volume.
The average price of a home in the county was $350,000 for April. That’s a 16 percent increase from $303,000 a year earlier, when the median price hit its lowest level in more than five years, according to data provided by Home Data Corp. in Hicksville, N.Y.
“There has been interest in buying in the $500,000 range. That tends to be pulling up the median price,” said Delores Conway, associate professor at the USC Marshall School of Business. “People on the low end have been able to move up and there have even been multiple offers on homes.”
Moreover, many subprime loans have been restructured or foreclosed upon, which helps relieve downward pressure on prices, according to Conway. Areas where this trend is noticeable include Lancaster, Palmdale, Norwalk and Pomona. In all four cities, volume is the highest of all ZIP codes and median prices are all below the county median.
Activity has also picked up in the highest-end areas such as Beverly Hills and Bel Air, where homebuyer tax credits had little impact.
Beverly Hills reported 19 sales in April, compared with just nine a year earlier. Home sales in Bel Air jumped from three in April 2009 to 12 in 2010. Overall, the 10 highest-price ZIP codes saw 81 sales in April compared with 53 a year earlier, a 53 percent spike in volume.
“We are doing over an escrow a day,” said Jeff Hyland, president of Beverly Hills brokerage firm Hilton & Hyland Real Estate, who works with high-end homes on the Westside. “That is triple what we were doing a year ago. There is pent-up demand and buyers will move if houses are priced appropriately.”