The following analysis of the Southern California real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.
The counties covered by this report — Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange, and Riverside — added 139,000 new jobs between November 2017 and November 2018, representing an annual growth rate of 1.4%. The unemployment rate held at 4%. Employment growth in Southern California continues to slow but, as I discussed in the third quarter Gardner Report, the market is heavily affected by the substantial Los Angeles County market, which is seeing significantly slower employment growth. My 2019 forecast for employment in Southern California is for growth to continue at around 1.5%.
HOME SALES ACTIVITY
DAYS ON MARKET
- The average time it took to sell a home in the region was 46 days. This is a three-day increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, and seven days more than in the third quarter of 2018.
- No market saw the time it took to sell a house drop compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. It also took more time to sell a home in the fourth quarter than it did in the third.
- Homes in San Diego County continue to sell at a faster rate than other markets in the region. In the fourth quarter, it took an average of 35 days to sell a home, five days more than it took a year ago.
- Market time is increasing, which may concern some; however, it is simply a move back to normal averages.
The speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.
The Southern California economy continues to slow and the number of homes for sale is rising. This combination will lead to slower price appreciation, but I do not see it as anything to worry too much about. We are simply trending back to a “normal” housing market. Given these factors, I have moved the needle a little further toward buyers.
As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.
In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governor's Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.