As we all know, the housing market in California has been struggling for a while – particularly in Southern California, where a large portion ofthe local economy is driven by construction and real estate related activity.
But it seems that, according to the real estate section of the LA Times, SoCal home prices are the lowest they’ve been since 2009. The median price of a Southern California home is now $270,000. The raw number of sales is down, too, dropping 5.9% compared to January 2010.
Of course this isn’t the end of the world, and unusually bad winter weather can realistically explain quite a bit of the drop.
“It is very hard to tell a trend from January, but I think we are experiencing a market that has not yet found its forward momentum,” said Edward Leamer, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast. “You can’t have a healthy housing market without a healthy job market.”
This, of course, makes perfect sense. But it’s still disappointing news for those who predicted that 2011 will be the year that the housing market picks itself up and dusts itself off.
Who isn’t disappointed? Well, homebuyers, obviously. This is the cheapest homes in Southern California have been in years. This might very well be the “double-dip”/”rock-bottom” that everyone’s been talking about. And given the upcoming changes in the mortgage industry, this might be the homebuyer’s magic moment.