Two things you don’t hear when ‘analysts’ are describing 2014 home sales:
1. We are comparing Y-o-Y numbers to one of the hottest frenzies of all-time.
2. Sales are down because sellers are asking too much.
Instead, we get this explanation below: We have higher inventory, but supply falls short of demand so we have lower sales. (?)
La Jolla, CA—Southern California home sales lost momentum in May, falling from both April and a year earlier as investor demand fell and buyers continued to face inventory, affordability and credit constraints. Prices climbed again but at roughly half the year-ago pace, a real estate information service reported.
A total of 19,556 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was down 2.3 percent from 20,008 sales in April, and down 15.1 percent from 23,034 sales in May last year, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.
On average, sales have increased 5.8 percent between April and May since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics begin. Sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis for eight consecutive months. May sales have ranged from a low of 16,917 in May 2008 to a high of 35,557 in May 2005. Last month’s sales were 23.0 percent below the May average of 25,393 sales.
“We expected rising prices to unlock more inventory this spring and that’s happened. But the supply of homes for sale still falls short of demand in many markets, contributing to a rise in prices and a below-average sales pace. The drop in affordability has also hampered activity, helping to explain how sales could be lower now even though today’s inventory is higher than a year ago. The recent dip in mortgage rates will help fuel demand, adding pressure to home prices. But the sort of price spikes we saw this time last year – annual gains of 20 percent or more – are less likely today given affordability constraints, higher inventory and the drop-off in investor purchases,” said Andrew LePage, a DataQuick analyst.