How Southern California’s ‘savings’ in house prices declined in March – Orange County Register
The North-South California home price gap fell to 42% in March as records were broken statewide.
My trusty spreadsheet, filled with California Association of Realtors Monthly Data on Existing Single-Family Home Sales, shows that the era of the pandemic pushed prices slightly faster south in March. Cheap mortgages, limited inventory to buy and cravings for more living space have motivated house hunters to pay…
• In the five-county area of Southern California, the median home price sold a record $ 705,000 in March, up 8.6% in one month; up 26.7% in one year; and up 57.2% over five years.
• In the Nine County Bay Area, the March median was a record $ 1.225 million – up 6.4% in one month; up 21.3% in one year; and up 61% over five years.
• Thus, the “economies” of the south – the gap between these benchmark prices – were 42% last month against 44% a month earlier, 45% a year earlier and equal to the average of 42% from 2015. (Yes, we know it takes the Bay Area to make housing in Southern California seem ‘affordable’.)
This gap has widened in recent years as well-paying tech jobs in the Bay Area have inflated home prices in that area. The north-south difference was on average only 12% in 1990-1994, but increased to 35% in 1995-2000 and to 42% in 2001-2004. The gap slipped to 30% in 2005-2010 and to 37% in 2010-2014 amid the fallout from the Great Recession.
PS: Statewide, the median hit a record high of $ 758,990 in March, up 8.6% in one month; up 23.9% in one year; and 56.8% over five years.
Jonathan Lansner is an economics columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be contacted at [email protected]