Southern California home buyers have pulled back, purchasing fewer single-family homes in October as they struggled to afford houses that have jumped in price this year.
They didn’t, however, lose their appetite for condos.
Changing cultural attitudes and skyrocketing home prices have boosted demand for condominiums this year, experts say. For many, condos are the only affordable path to homeownership in urban areas near jobs, cafes and boutiques.
“People who a year ago could afford houses can’t,” said Richard Green, director of USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate. “But they can afford condos.”
In October, sales of previously owned condos and other attached units increased 3.3% over a year earlier, according to research firm DataQuick. Existing single-family home sales went the other direction, falling 7.2%. In the first 10 months of this year, existing condo sales accounted for 22% of all Southern California home sales, the highest percentage in more than a decade.
Condos have averaged 18% of sales since 1988, when DataQuick starting tracking housing statistics.