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In 2023, Southern California’s home prices surged dramatically, leading the nation’s growth rates according to the Case-Shiller Index. Specifically, the Los Angeles and Orange County area saw an 8.3% rise in home prices, with San Diego topping this with an 8.8% increase, compared to the national average of 5.5%. This spike has made home prices in Los Angeles quadruple since 2000, a growth rate much higher than the less than double increase in apartment rents in the same timeframe.

The sharp rise in home prices, combined with elevated interest rates, has significantly widened the cost gap between owning and renting. For instance, renting a high-end three-bedroom apartment in areas like Orange County and Los Angeles County can cost around $4,500 to over $5,000 per month, respectively. However, to buy a property in these areas with a 20% down payment at a 7.4% mortgage rate, the buyer could only afford homes priced up to around $720,000, which reveals limited options in the housing market.

In Orange County, the real estate listings for homes within the $500,000 to $750,000 price range are scarce, with even fewer properties available below $500,000. Most homes in the area are priced well above $1 million. This market condition reflects a broader trend where the high cost of homeownership in Southern California is not significantly affecting the demand for apartments. The region’s luxury apartment renters, even with substantial incomes, find purchasing million-dollar homes unfeasible.

Despite the daunting housing market, the aspiration for homeownership persists, driven by the desire for more space, better neighborhoods, and the potential financial benefits of property investment. People continue to invest in the housing market, attracted by the long-term equity gains, despite the immediate financial challenges of high home prices in Southern California.

Source link: https://product.costar.com/home/news/1558568825

Source Name: Costar

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