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SoCal housing market: stabilizing prices, cooling demand, Chinese disinvestment




Pedestrians cross a street in Los Angeles, California on January 25, 2019 near the unfinished Oceanwide Plaza, one of the biggest real estate development projects in downtown LA, where construction has stalled as the Beijing-based Oceanwide Holdings conglomerate said the hold-up was due to a recapitalization of the project, with work due to resume by the middle of February.
Pedestrians cross a street in Los Angeles, California on January 25, 2019 near the unfinished Oceanwide Plaza, one of the biggest real estate development projects in downtown LA, where construction has stalled as the Beijing-based Oceanwide Holdings conglomerate said the hold-up was due to a recapitalization of the project, with work due to resume by the middle of February.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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Home prices are still on the rise, but people aren’t buying.

Home sales just hit their lowest levels since 2007. But it’s a different story in the commercial real estate market. Los Angeles is on its third year in a row of record sales for real estate like office buildings, retail, and housing complexes.

The housing and commercial real estate markets have both seen a decrease in Chinese investment again this quarter. That makes it the third quarter in a row where Chinese investors sold more property than they bought. U.S. homes are more expensive. The dollar is getting stronger while China’s economic growth is slowing. Political tensions are rising between the United States and China. All of those factors tie into the national decline, but the trend is appearing in Los Angeles, too.

How does a decline in foreign investment affect the Los Angeles real estate market? How does it affect the commercial and housing markets differently? Will the decline in Chinese investment help or hurt homeowners and investors here in Los Angeles?

Guests:

Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research at the National Association of Realtors  

Michael Longo, first vice president of capital markets at CBRE, a commercial real estate and investment firm based in Los Angeles

Eric Sussman, adjunct professor in accounting and real estate at UCLA Anderson School of Management