Research Outline

Southern California Real Estate Market


A competitive assessment of the real estate market in Southern California, to include the hottest markets in the area, average prices per area, and key players.

Early Findings

  • Los Angeles was ranked the hottest real estate market in December 2019.
  • Based on an article published by LA times in April 2020, the Southern California housing market siezed up due to the COVID-19 outbreak as the number of deals entering escrow drastically reduced since March 2020. The market was faced with lower demand and lower supply, which led to relatively steady prices.
  • Home sales in the Southern California area have been low within the past few months. The home sales volume of single family residences in Southern California was 22,300 in May 2019. By April 2020, it fell to 13,900 and by May 2020, it further reduced to 12,300.
  • The housing markets in Los Angeles and San Diego increased by double digits in June 2020. In Metro Los Angeles, "home prices rose $18,000 or 11.6% to a new level of $553,000 via a 48% jump in sales activity. Orange County saw price growth of 4.2% to a new home price average of $870,000, while in San Diego, home prices rose 3.5% over May to $285,000."
  • As of June 2020, The Inland Empire - which includes cities like San Bernandino in Southern California - is reportedly the most affordable place to live in Southern California and the strongest market. The pandemic era has "seemingly rearranged housing’s local pecking order and elevated Riverside and San Bernardino counties to Southern California’s new housing hot spot."
  • Since the pandemic surfaced, new homes sales in the Inland Empire were up 13%, compared to the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, which had a decrease in new home sales. Regarding purchases in the far-larger market for "existing homes, the Inland Empire is down 10% in a year vs. L.A.-O.C.’s 15% drop."
  • Other hot real estate markets in Southern California as of June 2020 include Long Beach, Brentwood, Anaheim, Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Huntington Beach.


  • In the COVID-19 era, it appears the Riverside and San Bernardino counties are the hottest real estate markets in Southern California.