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How Builders May Rekindle Southern California’s Burnt Out Housing Market


How Builders May Rekindle Southern California’s Burnt Out Housing Market

May 26, 2020
home builder leaning on tools in front of framing

While the resale market in Southern California grapples with the pandemic's challenges, home builders may be the first spark to reignite California’s housing market, according to National Mortgage news. Builders’ homes are clean, and their showings conditions are controlled, major pluses for home shopping during a pandemic. And though sellers are pulling their homes off the market, builders don’t have that luxury to just stop selling houses. Consequently, a builder-made home may be a financially stable homebuyer’s best shot at finding one in this less-crowded market. 

Homebuilders were a rare, bright spot in an otherwise dreary April for Southern California's housing market.

It's awfully hard to cheer when new-home sales in the six-county region fell 11.5% as the coronavirus crimped the economy. DQNews reported builders completed sales for 1,226 new residences last month, the slowest April since 2012.

But note what happened in the resale market: Only 12,600 existing homes and condos sold — down 33% in a year. It added up to the worst April for Southern California homebuying in DQNews records dating to 1988. Worse than the mid-1990s housing slump. Worse than the bubble-bursting Great Recession days.

The battle to thwart the coronavirus has hammered most of the economy, costing California more than one-fifth of its jobs. That kind of business disruption has meant at least 1-in-14 mortgage borrowers nationwide have some sought house-payment forbearance. It's no surprise that it's a scary time to be a house hunter, economically speaking. The same can be said about health fears, too.

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