According to a recent report issued by the California Association of Realtors, Southern California saw the largest year-over-year increase in the pending sale of homes in the state last December. The term “pending sale” refers to home sales in which a contract has been signed, but the sale has not been closed.
Figures released in the California Association of Realtors’ Market Pulse Survey show that pending sales in Southern California increased by a very healthy 7.8 percent in December as compared to the same time in 2015. These numbers are far superior to those posted for the Central Valley where a mere 0.9 percent gain was posted or worse yet the San Francisco Bay area, where a 14.2 percent decline was noted.
By the numbers in Southern California, the figures look like this; San Bernardino County up 9.5 percent, San Diego County up by 7.9 percent, L.A. County up by 5.2 percent. The only county in the area to see a decline was Orange County, where pending sales dropped by 11.5 percent in the same time period.
Room for Growth
California Association of Realtors economist Jordan Levine stated, ” There’s still a lot of room for growth in San Bernardino County. Homes are much more affordable there relative to Los Angeles County and Orange County. The difference between the price of a home in L.A. and in San Bernardino County can be several hundred thousand dollars.”
In an attempt to explain the decline in Orange County, Keller Williams of Irvine realtor Steve Grippi believes that part of the decline seen in December may have been the result of the holidays as people are more interested in shopping for gifts and spending time with family rather than shopping for a new home. He had this to say,” It might be that people were just hanging out during the holidays and not working so much, and a lot of people in Orange County have more income so they can afford to take more time to buy a home.”
All is Not Gold in the Golden State
While the figures in many parts of Southern California might be on the rise, this is not the case in many other areas of the state. For example, San Mateo county saw pending sales drop by a massive 35.3 percent, San Francisco saw them drop by 23.3 percent, and Santa Clarita County watched their numbers go down by 18.6 percent.
However, the California Association of Realtors report does contain more good news such as the fact that the number of homes in the state that sold for less than the asking price dropped to 43 percent in comparison to one year ago, when they hovered at 57 percent. At the same time, the number of homes that sold for more than the asking price increased from 18 percent in December of 2015 to 23 percent in December of 2016. The number selling at asking price rose from 25 percent to 34 percent. These numbers offer plenty of good news for many realtors and sellers and are expected to continue growing for the next few months.