Shopping for your dream home? Better act quick because it may be gone by tomorrow.
California’s real estate market is very hot despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent interview for "LA Times Today," reporter Andrew Khouri joined host Lisa McRee to discuss why houses are selling so fast.
Khouri explained how the home buying boom is going on all over the Southland, causing prices to go up.
"In March, prices for homes in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and San Diego have gone up by double-digit percentages in all those counties," he said. "It was a high of 18% in San Bernardino year-over-year, so it is scorching out there, and prices are rising badly."
One buyer compared the process to speed dating.
"Coronavirus restrictions are still being put in place when it comes to viewing the homes," said Khouri. "You go into the house one by one, and when you leave, another person comes in to view the house. Sometimes places have a lot of demands, and there is a line out the door. This one buyer and his wife told me they were looking for a home in Orange County and described it to me as speed dating, but after that date, you have to marry it because there is a line of potentially 15 people out the door waiting to bid on the home. Homes are getting multiple offers, and that is why they are going very quickly."
Real estate agents, economists, experts and buyers say there are various reasons for the home-buying frenzy.
“A lot of people want more space at the moment," Khouri added. "They have been held up by either their apartments or houses and realized that was not working for them. So, they are out there looking for a house. Given how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted people financially, it has fallen disproportionately on lower-income people that are less likely to buy a home in the first place. On top of that, you have this low supply that all that demand is skyrocketing prices. Along with that, we have millennials who are increasingly entering their early 30s. And that is when a lot of people buy their home for the first time. So we are getting a lot of first-time buyers out there along with people that want to buy another home."
Much of the investment flood is driven by companies seeking to rent out houses they own. But in the years before the pandemic, a new crop of companies launched and pitched themselves to traditional home sellers and buyers specifically on their transaction speed, leading analysts to call them instant buyers or I-buyers.
"You have companies like Zillow, Redfin and Opendoor that will buy your home for cash and get an offer," said Khouri. "They will do a little bit of a fix to the house, and then they will sell it. If you are a seller or a buyer, you can buy directly from one of these companies. And their whole pitch is speed and efficiency."
Click the arrow above for the interview.
Watch "LA Times Today" at 7 and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday on Spectrum News 1 and the app.