LA home prices climb back up, tying an all-time record

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Despite lagging sales, home prices in Los Angeles ticked up in August, tying an all-time record.

According to real estate tracker CoreLogic, the median home price in LA County was $615,000 last month. That’s a 1.2 percent increase over July and equal to the record-high price for the area set in June. It’s also 7 percent above last year’s median August price.

More homes sold in August than during the month before, but sales were down 8.5 percent compared to the same time last year. Overall, it’s been a sluggish summer for the Southern California real estate market, says CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage.

Across the region, the number of sales recorded between July and August was the lowest in four years.

“Lack of affordable inventory is one of the main culprits of this summer’s slowdown,” LePage says, pointing out that the last time prices approached the level they are at today was in the years leading up to the Great Recession.

One reason why homes aren’t selling at the rate they did in those years, he says, is that buyers “don’t have access to the sort of risky subprime and other loans” that lenders were handing out at that time.

Rising mortgage interest rates are also making it harder for buyers to enter the market. LePage notes that, with interest rate increases factored in, monthly mortgage payments for Southern California buyers have climbed close to 16 percent in the last year.

With fewer purchases being completed, more sellers in LA are chopping prices, according to a recent report from Zillow. Eventually, real estate experts say that could lead to reduced sale prices.

Whether that will make a big difference for LA homebuyers struggling to afford pricy mortgage payments—and even higher down payments—remains to be seen.

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