While overall median home prices trended 5 percent lower in February year-over-year, about half of communities saw increases and the other half saw declines. However, most of the prices are still above January 2018 levels as pricing started surging in February and posted a 13 percent jump compared to February 2017. Malibu and surrounding areas continued to see the largest increases in median prices, as the area saw a jump in sales of homes priced above $3 million.
Otherwise, the number of homes sold in Los Angeles communities continued to trend lower compared to last year with communities on the West Side posting the largest declines. Current overall inventory levels are now at the lowest level in four years. The number of homes available for sale also declined on an annual basis after a short spike in inventory at the end of 2018. Again, larger declines in for-sale inventory were seen in West Side communities, while communities in The Valley and around the Greater Pasadena area generally had more availability compared to last year.
After a much slower pace of home sales during the winter months, days on market improved again in February. Still, the pace of home sales generally slowed year-over-year across Los Angeles communities, averaging about 57 days on market compared to 48 days last February.
As a result of some buyer resistance to purchase a home, more homes are selling below asking price compared to a year ago. Larger price reductions are seen in markets where buyers are more likely to be concerned with affordability, such as South LA, and areas where Chinese buyers were dominant in previous years, such as communities South of 210 and Eastern Cities.