Signed contracts in Los Angeles County dipped for a second straight month in September, as the housing inventory shortage continued to cut into sales.
A total of 5,087 single-family homes and condos went into contract last month, down slightly from nearly 5,200 in August, according to Douglas Elliman’s monthly report. In July, nearly 6,000 homes went into contract countywide.
The lack of available homes has kept prices high; a separate report found the median home sale price in L.A. County was $680,000.
Last month, just 2,489 new single-family listings hit the market, down from about 2,600 in August, according to the Elliman report. That compares to just over 6,000 listings in September 2020. As one example of the listings discrepancy, 60 percent fewer homes hit the market in the $1 million to $2 million range last month compared to the same time in 2020.
September also marked the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year new inventory declines countywide, the report noted.
“It’s very challenging,” said appraiser Jonathan Miller, who authors the monthly Elliman report. “And if you look at the market going forward … there’s no expectation, at least in the near future, of the inventory problem being resolved.”
In September, 3,713 single-family homes went into contract, a little below the 3,749 contracts signed in August and far below the 4,374 in July.
Condos contracts also edged lower last month, when 1,374 condos went into contract, compared to 1,421 in August.
Among single-family homes, signings were down year-over-year nearly across the board. For homes priced at $300,000, a rarity in L.A., in-contract deals fell 18 percent; homes between $2 million and $5 million saw 27 percent fewer signings; homes between $900,000 and $1 million also fell, nearly 18 percent.
“This is a combination of distortions from year-over-year comparisons, along with the continuing chronic lack of supply,” Miller said.
Signings for homes priced between $700,000 and $900,000 remained virtually unchanged from the same time last year.
Year-over-year signed contracts and new listings also fell sharply in Orange County and San Diego, the Elliman report noted.
In recent weeks Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a suite of laws aimed at increasing California’s housing supply, though the emphasis is on affordable housing. That type of legislation can take years before any impact is seen from new development.