Southern California home sales slowdown deepened in February; agents see busier times ahead

Sales plunged nearly 12%. The pullback comes after years of steady price increases put homeownership out of reach for many families. “[Buyers] are just being more cautious where they are putting their dollars,” said San Fernando Valley real estate agent Deanna Medina. Last month, prices dropped 1.4% compared with a year earlier in expensive Orange County.

Los Angeles County recorded a gain of just under 1%. On Tuesday, further evidence of the slowdown emerged when the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index was released. It provides a delayed look at home prices, but is considered more accurate because it takes into account changes in the types and sizes of homes sold. What happens next will depend on how willing, or able, people are to bid up home prices.

By last week, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage had fallen to 4.28%, according to Freddie Mac. The reduction is enough to save $157 on a monthly mortgage payment for a $500,000 house. ” A bit hotter than a few months ago, but a far cry from the days when packed open houses and multiple offers were commonplace.“It's just a very, very normal market,” he said.

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