Coronavirus Cuts Southern California Home Buying

Coronavirus has dramatically slowed Southern California house hunting, with new sales contracts falling 48% in the past four weeks, according to one tracking service.

ReportsOnHousing follows homebuying trends found in the listing services for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties. Here’s what the report found, as of April 16. And remember this is usually prime selling season …

Demand: 8,646 homes were put into escrow in the previous 30 days in the six-county Southern California region, down 7,973 or 48% in four weeks.

Supply: 31,279 homes officially listed, up 1,338 or 4.5% in four weeks.

Selling speed: ReportsOnHousing’s “market time” measures supply vs. demand. It’s now 108 days vs. 54 four weeks earlier. That’s 100% higher.

The economy has been rocked by business limitations, “stay at home” mandates that have impacted the ability to sell homes. Statewide, 2.8 million people have applied for unemployment benefits. Here’s how the trends run in the region’s counties …

Los Angeles County: 2,479 in escrow, down 2,527 or 50% in four weeks; 9,037 listings, up 387 or 4.5% in this period. Market time? 109 days vs. 52. That’s a 110% increase.

Orange County: 1,080 in escrow, down 1,318 or 55% in four weeks; 4,344 listings, up 185 or 4.5% in this period. Market time? 121 days vs. 52. That’s a 133% increase.

Riverside County: 1,621 in escrow, down 1,362 or 46% in four weeks; 7,001 listings, up 208 or 3.1% in this period. Market time? 130 days vs. 68. That’s a 90% increase.

San Bernardino County: 1,351 in escrow, down 962 or 42% in four weeks; 4,616 listings, up 210 or 4.8% in this period. Market time? 103 days vs. 57. That’s an 80% increase.

San Diego County: 1,738 in escrow, down 1,400 or 45% in four weeks; 5,079 listings, up 271 or 5.6% in this period. Market time? 88 days vs. 46. That’s a 91% increase.

Ventura County: 377 in escrow, down 404 or 52% in four weeks; 1,202 listings, up 77 or 6.84% in this period. Market time? 96 days vs. 43. That’s a 122% increase.

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