That's according to HomeData Corp., which provides data to the Business Journal and is usually the first out with monthly housing stats. L.A. County home sales in June jumped 30 percent from the previous month, reports HomeData, but they were down 28 percent from a year earlier. The reason sales have taken off has a lot to do with the median price, which fell to $429,000, its lowest level in almost four years. Yowser! The Business Journal story focuses a lot on the condo market, which saw 1,254 units sold in June, up 115 percent from May. Foreclosures explain some of the boom (first-time condo buyers were especially susceptible to teaser rates for a condo), but there are additional factors, including several projects coming on line and the steady increase in rental prices.
“We’re seeing more activity now with agents in our office, especially agents dealing with condo buyers,” said Greg Bingham, Long Beach branch manager with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. In May, Bingham said that his office had 86 condo unit sales pending; that figure rose to 128 in June. “The bargain hunters have come out in force.”
But it’s not just bottom-fishers who are coming to the table. Condo properties near the water have also been attracting buyers. In Long Beach, for example, the 246-unit West Ocean condo project opened in February, with prices starting at around $500,000 and the most expensive units topping $1 million; units there have been selling “pretty briskly,” Bingham said. Some of this interest may be driven by a decision in late May by Fannie Mae to price so-called jumbo conforming loans of up to $730,000 at the same price of regular conforming loans under $417,000.