The number of homes sold in Hermosa Beach in the first quarter of 2012 almost doubled over first quarter of 2011, reflecting a trend across Los Angeles County.
A total of 6,772 homes changed hands in Los Angeles County last month, compared to 6,590 in March 2011, according to La Jolla-based DataQuick. In Hermosa Beach, according to real estate agent Dunham Stewart, of South Bay Brokers, 45 properties closed escrow over the first three months of this year, compared to 26 during the same time period last year.
"That's a big jump," Stewart said.
He attributed the increase in homes sold to a wide variety of factors, including low interest rates, but suspects that confidence among home-buyers is growing.
"There just seems to be a little more confidence that things are settling down a bit," he said, referring to the recent bad economy.
According to DataQuick, home prices in the county seem to be dropping, with the real estate information service reporting a 4.4 percent drop in prices in the county over March.
Stewart, however, said that while it's hard to track home prices in Hermosa Beach the same way, since the sample size is so small and price ranges so varied, he doesn't see any trend toward home prices dropping in the city.
"I would asy there’s a good stabilization of most prices in the hermosa beach area and some upward pressure in some areas," he said, adding that the inventory of homes for sale in the city is a lot lower than normal, down to 50 properties, compared to the usual 80 to 90. "Right now there’s not a lot of downward pressure on prices relative to two years ago. There’s a lot less [for sale] on the market and demand has increased a little bit."
City News Service contributed to this report.