April 2012 Southern California Real Estate Market Report

By
Real Estate Agent with North Orange County CA Real Estate Specialists BRE# 01277795

APRIL 2012 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE MARKET REPORT

COULD IT BE THE END... OF THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA House Rising Into the Sky, Attached to BalloonsHOUSING CRISIS?

The weather is not the only thing that's getting hot in Southern California! The Southern California real estate market is showing definite signs of recovery, with inventory continuing to drop, and the median home price and number of Southern California home sales inching upwards.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOME PRICES CLIMB AS INVENTORY DRIES UP

Home buyers appear to be feeling the heat, as they become more and more anxious to find a home. At a time of the year when new listings begin to spring up all over town, Southern California home buyers are dealing with a strange new reality of having less and less inventory to choose from.

In addition to low inventory, buyers are beginning to become concerned about the prices; The Southern California median sales price was $290,000 in April, which was an increase of 3.6%, over the median sales price posted in March, and a 17.4% increase from this real estate cycle's low in April of 2009. This could be a signal that we have officially seen the bottom of the real estate market in Southern California, and that further price increases are imminent.

VENTURA AND ORANGE COUNTY HOME SALES JUMP NEARLY 20%

There were a total of 19,284 home sales throughout the 6 counties of Southern California, in the month of April. Although this is a drop of 3.4% from March, it is 5.1% higher than the Southern California real estate sales figures from April of 2011, and many cities have experienced month over month increases throughout 2012, confirming the fact that real estate must be evaluated on a local basis.

April proved to be a great month for the majority of counties in Southern California, with 4 out of the 6 counties posting an increase in real estate sales, and Ventura County and Orange County home sales jumping nearly 20% each!

MULTIPLE OFFERS NOW COMMON IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Multiple offers are now commonplace, especially on Southern California properties listed at $300,000 or less, and traditional homebuyers continued to compete with a nearly record breaking number of real estate investors and vacation home buyers; Once again, these absentee buyers accounted for nearly one-third of all Southern California home sales in April, with the highest figures being posted in the area known as the Inland Empire. The Inland Empire, is comprised of San Bernardino County and Riverside County, which were 2 of the hardest hit areas of Southern California, in this recent real estate bust.

Graph Showing the Increase in Southern California Real Estate Investor and Vacation Home Buyers

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FORECLOSURE SALES AND SHORT SALES CONTINUE TO DECLINE

Another positive trend appears to be the decline in the number of closed foreclosure sales and short sales in Southern California. Even more encouraging, is the fact that the number of distressed listings have also dropped off. This is due, in part, to the willingness of lenders, to work through issues with homeowners, in an attempt to renegotiate and modify their home loan.

Graph Showing the Decline in Distressed Real Estate Sales in Southern California

Although the combined number of distressed sales remains well above average, it's important to keep these figures in perspective. While there's no denying that the amount of struggling Southern California homeowners is staggering, there are far more Southern California homeowners that do not need to sell, and these homeowners are waiting for the market to stabilize and/or increase. This also explains the extremely low inventory of homes for sale in Southern California. When, and if, more non-distressed homeowners list their Southern California homes for sale, there will definitely be a dramatic shift in the percentages of standard real estate sales versus distressed home sales.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FINANCING USED IN APRIL 2012

Graph Showing the Percentage of ARM Loans, FHA Loans, Jumbo Loans and Cash Purchases in Southern California

ARM Loans: The number of Southern California properties purchased with Adjustable Rate Mortgage loans (ARMs) increased from 6.4% in March, but remains relatively low, compared to historical figures.

Jumbo Loans: The use of Jumbo loans increased again, from 16.4% in March, but remains well below peak figures.

Cash Purchases: Apparently cash is still king, as the amount of Southern California real estate purchased with all cash in April remains well above the 12 year average of 15.2%, and accounted for nearly one-third of all sales. Once again, cash buyers surpassed the number of homes purchased with FHA home loans, which is still the number one method of real estate financing in Southern California.

FHA Loans: While still popular, due to the low down payment and lenient qualification guidelines, the use of FHA loans dropped once again, from 30% in March. This could be a result of the increase in FHA fees, which were recently introduced.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE ACTIVITY FOR APRIL 2012 COMPARED TO APRIL 2011

4 out of the 6 Southern California counties posted an increase in real estate sales and median sales price, in the month of April, 2012:

  • Ventura County’s Real Estate Sales Increased +17.5%
  • Ventura County’s Median Sales Price Increased +.70%

April 2011 # of Sales

April 2012 # of Sales

684

804

 

April 2011 Median Sales Price

April 2012 Median Sales Price

$357,500

$360,000

  • Los Angeles County’s Real Estate Sales Increased +8%
  • Los Angeles County’s Median Sales Price Decreased –3.1%

April 2011 # of Sales

April 2012 # of Sales

6,025

6,510

 

April 2011 Median Sales Price

April 2012 Median Sales Price

$320,000

$310,000

  • Orange County’s Real Estate Sales Increased +17.5%
  • Orange County’s Median Sales Price Decreased –2.3%

April 2011 # of Sales

April 2012 # of Sales

2,485

2,920

 

April 2011 Median Sales Price

April 2012 Median Sales Price

$430,000

$420,000

  • San Diego County's Real Estate Sales Increased +8.6%
  • San Diego County's Median Sales Price Decreased +2.4%

April 2011 # of Sales

April 2012 # of Sales

3,277

3,559

 

April 2011 Median Sales Price

April 2012 Median Sales Price

$321,750

$329,500

  • Riverside County’s Real Estate Sales Decreased -7.8%
  • Riverside County’s Median Sales Price Increased +5.3%

April 2011 # of Sales

April 2012 # of Sales

3,470

3,199

 

April 2011 Median Sales Price

April 2012 Median Sales Price

$190,000

$200,000

  • San Bernardino County’s Real Estate Sales Decreased -4.6%
  • San Bernardino County’s Median Sales Price Increased +5.9%

April 2011 # of Sales

April 2012 # of Sales

2,403

2,292

 

April 2011 Median Sales Price

April 2012 Median Sales Price

$147,500

$156,250

 

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If You Would Like To Buy A Home In Orange County, Or The Surrounding Southern California Area, Or If You Would Like To Sell Your Orange County Property Or A Property In The Surrounding Southern California Area, Contact Us Today, For A Free, No Pressure Evaluation.

We Specialize In Real Estate Sales In North Orange County And The Bordering Riverside County Areas, Including Anaheim Hills, Brea, Corona, Fullerton, Norco, North Tustin, Orange, Orange Park Acres, Placentia, Tustin, Villa Park and Yorba Linda, California

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Topic:
Real Estate Market Trends
Location:
California
Groups:
Realestateandfunding
2013MarketReports
BananaTude
Tags:
april 2012
market report
southern california real estate

Comments 2 New Comment

Rainmaker
1,089,531
Tom Arstingstall
General Contractor, Sacramento, CA - 916-765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366

You have posted a very thorough market report of Southern California Gina. All the indicators show that things are heating up in the south!

May 21, 2012 01:04 AM
Anonymous #2
Anonymous
Anonymous

Thanks Tom! Yes, it's crazy down here! I'm working with about 6 buyers right now, and properties are going faster than you can get to them.

I hope all is well up north!?

Take care and have a great week,

Gina

May 21, 2012 10:21 AM
Rainer
297,047

Gina Lemos

Orange County CA Real Estate Agent
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Additional Information

North Orange County and Riverside County California Real Estate Sales: Anaheim Hills - Brea - Corona - Fullerton - Norco - North Tustin - Orange - Placentia - Tustin - Villa Park - Yorba Linda