A chill hit Riverside County homebuying this summer.
The homebuying pace cooled by 24% in August as house hunters were scared off by 49% higher house payments. Riverside County home prices are now 2.8% off their springtime peak.
Here’s what my trusty spreadsheet found in DQNews’ report on closed transactions in Riverside County in August …
Total: 3,304 Riverside County single-family, condominium, existing and newly constructed homes sold. This was the 10th slowest-selling August of the 35 since 1988.
One-month change: 11% increase from July. Since 1988, sales have fallen in August 47% of the time with an average 4.3% increase from July.
12-month change: 24% decrease — No. 38 biggest decline since 1988 (or only 9% worse months.)
Summer slump: It’s not just one month as the 10,102 homes sold in June to August was down 26% in a year and the 10th-slowest mid-summer pace in 35 years.
The median: $581,500 for all residences — up 0.3% in a month and up 10.8% over 12 months. Record Riverside high? $598,500 set in May. So, prices are 2.8% off their peak.
One-month trend: Since 1988, a typical August had prices dip 43% of the time with with an average 0.5% drop.
One-year trend: Smallest 12-month increase in 23 months. Average gain since 1988? 5.4% annualized.
Key Riverside slices
Existing single-family houses: 2,311 sold, down 28% in a year. Median of $580,000 — a 7% increase over 12 months.
Existing condos: 341 sales, down 26% over 12 months. Median of $480,000 — a 25% increase in a year.
Newly built: Builders sold 652 new homes, down 3% in a year. Median of $607,000 — a 14% increase over 12 months.
Builder share: 19.7% of sales vs. 15.5% a year earlier.
How pricey has money become? Rates on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.38% in the three months ending in August vs. 2.9% a year earlier. That translates to 26% less buying power for house hunters — largest drop since 1971.
Payment pain: Changing rates meant a buyer paid $2,607 a month for Riverside’s $581,500 median priced-residence vs. $1,747 monthly on a $525,000 median 12 months earlier. So prices rose 11% vs. a house payment’s 49% increase.
Downpayment: $116,300 for 20% last month, up $11,300 in a year.
Southern California: 17,698 homes — sold in six counties, up 8% for the month, and down 28% over the past year, says a DQNews report. The region’s median price of $740,000 was flat for the month, and up 9% over 12 months.
What are sellers are thinking? Listings are up dramatically. August homes for sale in the four counties totaled 28,286 — up 61% from December, Redfin figures show.
What’s the industry thinking? Local real estate bosses cooled hiring — added 600 workers in the four counties in August vs. 1,240 workers added monthly on average in the past year.
What are landlords thinking? Rent hikes are smaller — $8 increase for a typical Southern California apartment in August vs. $13 increases on average the previous six months. And six of the 21 big cities had falling rents, ApartmentList data shows.
Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org