Monthly Market Update – January 2020

LA home prices heat map

Welcome to the Monthly Market Update! In this brief (recurring) segment I will attempt to keep you apprised of changes in the housing market in Greater Los Angeles County.

I research the market constantly and I see no reason why I shouldn’t share my findings with all of you! So, feel free to follow along while I attempt to make statistics interesting and distill an overall opinion about the general health of our market.

While these will be published every month, the data is actually from the month prior, as it is released a few weeks after the month finishes. Unfortunately, Tesla and Apple have not yet figured out how to plug me straight into the MLS servers – but I am told Elon is working on it personally.

Let’s dive in!

December fell in line with seasonal trends of inventory being at it’s lowest in December. In both 2018 and 2019, we saw a sharp decrease in active listings on the market from October through December, and if the past is any indication of the future we should see an uptick in January.

That being said, while we should see inventory increase slightly in the coming months we are seeing supply steadily decrease year over year. In 12/18 we saw 7,941 active listings vs. 5,620 in 12/19. Demand, as expected in Los Angeles, has remained healthy as sold properties have actually increased from 2,747 in 12/18 to 3,326 in 12/19.

As you may have guessed, if supply is low and demand is stable-to-increasing we should see prices rise as well (you’re right! they have). Average Sold Price is up 3.2% ($893,000) between November and December, and our Median Sold Price rose $4,000 to $630,000.

Since sales outpaced new listings in December we also saw a decrease in one of my favorite metrics: Months Inventory. We went from 2.3 to 1.7 (based on closed sales) – further suggesting an aggressive sellers’ market (Unsure what Months Inventory is? Click here for an explanation).

Interestingly we saw average Days On Market increase from 48 days to 53 days – but at the same time we saw the overall Close Price to List Price ratio fall from 98% to 97%, so we can safely assume that some sellers/agents are trying to capitalize on the lack of inventory by listing a little too high. Or perhaps it was the holidays. I never said I know everything, just almost everything. Feel free to draw your own conclusion on the DOM increase.

Unemployment remains at 4.4%, down from 4.7% a year ago, & interest rates just reduced again.

Overall this market appears to be healthy. Pricey, but healthy. Full steam ahead into 2020.

See you next month!


p.s. If you’re wondering about the main image, it’s a heatmap of prices in LA – Red = $2M+, Yellow = $1-2M, Neon = $750-1M, and as the greens get darker it works its way down in $250k intervals 🙂


*Data obtained through Multiple Listing Service on 1/28/2020 using criteria as all residential property built after 1955 in Los Angeles County.

About John Maseredjian

John is the Vice President here at JohnHart, and as such is responsible for managing and directing the firm towards obtaining its ultimate goals. He is also one of our main contributors on the Blog. (please see his profile page on the main site for more information.)

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