Southern California home prices are flat in May as sales fall

June 27, 2019 @ 3:39 pm

By Andrew Khouri

The Southern California median home price barely budged in May, a sign that the housing market remains soft despite a sustained drop in borrowing costs.

The six-county median — the point where half the homes sold for more and half for less — rose just 0.2% from May 2018 to reach $530,000, according to a report released Wednesday by CoreLogic.

Sales, meanwhile, dropped 2.7% from a year earlier.

“Some buyers are kind of waiting on the sidelines,” said real estate agent Nabil Suleiman. “They believe we are going to see a correction.”

A handful of experts have predicted values will come down slightly this year after too many would-be buyers became priced out or fed up after years of sharp increases. But few expect steep declines.

Many economists argue continued economic growth and a low rate of home building means enough people are willing to buy a home — if not at today’s prices, then at least around those values.

California’s unemployment rate in May clocked in near a record low of 4.2% as employers added 282,700 jobs over the year. And while home price growth has far outpaced wage growth over the current housing boom, that’s starting to change.

Average hourly wages in California have risen an average of 5.3% so far this year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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