By Jeffery Marino
By every measure, the recent market for residential real estate in Northeast Los Angeles is the strongest on record in data going back to 2012.
The median sale price in NELA continued to rise in December 2020, reaching $915,000, a 9% increase over December of 2019.
The number of homes sold in December, 386, was up 23% year-over-year — the highest year-end selling activity since 2012. In fact, more homes were sold in NELA in December than in any other month in 2020, a highly unusual phenomenon: December is typically the slowest month for home sales, but in 2020, the pandemic pushed sales that normally would have occurred in the spring and summer to year end.
December is also usually the slowest month for new listings. But year-over-year, new listings were up in December by 34%, as home sellers who had delayed putting their homes on the market earlier in the year opted to sell rather than wait for the next traditional selling season in spring.
And yet, the increase in listings in December did not lead to an increase in overall inventory, which is a tally of active listings on the last day of the month. Rather, overall inventory in December fell by 0.5% compared to a year earlier — a sign that many of the newly listed homes were under contract by month end.
The hot market has led to bidding wars and higher prices: The average sale-to-list ratio in NELA — which measures the difference between list price and sale price — was 104% in December. That’s 1.5 percentage points higher than it was in December 2019 and the highest sale-to-list ratio of any December since 2012.
As the economy stabilizes post-pandemic, the seasonal ebb and flow of selling and buying is likely to return. But there’s nothing on the horizon to curb the upward momentum in prices, which is primarily driven by limited supply in the face of healthy demand.