Compass SoCal February 2019 Real Estate Market Update

overall median home prices trended 5 percent lower in February year-over-year,
about half of communities saw increases and the other half saw declines. However,
most of the prices are still above January 2018 levels as pricing started
surging in February and posted a 13 percent jump compared to February 2017.
Malibu and surrounding areas continued to see the largest increases in median
prices, as the area saw a jump in sales of homes priced above $3 million.

the number of homes sold in Los Angeles communities continued to trend lower
compared to last year with communities on the West Side posting the largest
declines. Current overall inventory levels are now at the lowest level in four
years. The number of homes available for sale also declined on an annual basis
after a short spike in inventory at the end of 2018. Again, larger declines in
for-sale inventory were seen in West Side communities, while communities in The
Valley and around the Greater Pasadena area generally had more availability
compared to last year.

a much slower pace of home sales during the winter months, days on market
improved again in February. Still, the pace of home sales generally slowed year-over-year
across Los Angeles communities, averaging about 57 days on market compared to
48 days last February.

As a result of some buyer resistance to purchase a home, more homes are selling below asking price compared to a year ago. Larger price reductions are seen in markets where buyers are more likely to be concerned with affordability, such as South LA, and areas where Chinese buyers were dominant in previous years, such as communities South of 210 and Eastern Cities.

Click here to see more Los Angeles region market statistics for February.






















See more Los Angeles region statistics here.

Plenty of open jobs in California while employment growth slows as anticipated

  • Following a delay in data release due to the government shutdown, the latest numbers from the state Employment Development Department (EDD) show California added 3,000 jobs in January, bringing the annual growth to 246,400 jobs. That represents a 1.4 percent increase from the year before, compared with the 1.9 percent growth recorded nationwide. In the nine years since the economic expansion started, the state has created a total of 3,115,600 jobs.

  • The state’s unemployment rate edged up to 4.2 percent, though the increase was due to a gain in California’s labor force, which grew by 50,200 in January. Labor force increase of 297,100 people over the last year is promising, since the tight market has caused concerns over future employment growth in the state. However, with the recent labor-force growth, the 2019 employment picture looks optimistic. The number of unemployed Californians was 817,600, a decrease of 24,800 from last January.
  • According to separate data from the Conference Board which tracks Help Wanted OnLine (HWOL) ads, total ads in six major California metropolitan areas in February added up to more than 489,000 open ads and over 603,000 statewide, which is the largest number of ads in any state. The Conference Board index also suggests that the number of ads has increased year-over-year, up 3.5 percent statewide, and the largest increase is in San Francisco with a 9.5 percent increase and 131,000 open ads (see Table 1). In other words, recruitment is likely to remain high in California leading to further tightening of the labor market.

Table 1

  • In looking back at EDD data, 7 out of 11 industries added jobs in January, totaling 13,000 jobs, with professional and business services leading the gains (up 4,200 jobs).
  • Job losses over the month were concentrated in trade, transportation, and utilities (down 7,200 jobs).
  • Over the year, 10 of California’s 11 industries added jobs. The largest gains remained in the professional and business services sector (up by 82,200 positions for a 2.6 percent increase), and education and health services (up by 62,60 jobs for a 2.3 percent increase).
  • Only financial services posted an annual decline, with 3,700 fewer jobs compared to last year.
  • While most regions show job losses on a seasonally unadjusted basis, seasonally adjusted numbers show that growth was spread out through the state with the Bay Area leading the gains. San Jose added the most jobs, up 5,100, followed by San Francisco, up 3,900, East Bay, up 1,200, and Santa Rosa, up 400. Los Angeles lost 2,600 jobs.
  • Los Angeles County lost 92,200 jobs between December and January with largest losses reported in retail trade and mostly in clothing and general merchandising stores, which is typical for the season. Leisure and hospitality also cut 16,900 jobs with more than 70 percent in accommodation and food services. On an annual basis, the region added 30,100 jobs or a 0.7 percent increase. Healthcare and assistance led the gains, with social assistance alone adding 9,300 jobs. Largest declines were in information sectors, with most of the losses in motion picture and sound recording and telecommunications.
  • Not seasonally adjusted numbers show that San Francisco and San Mateo counties lost 18,200 jobs between December and January but added 43,900 jobs year-over-year. With a 3.9 percent increase, the two counties had the largest increase over the last year. The region continued to post gains in the professional, scientific, and technical services and information sectors, which accounted for almost half of the total jobs added.
  • The San Jose metropolitan area — including Santa Clara and San Benito counties — also lost jobs on a monthly basis, down 15,100 jobs (not seasonally adjusted), and added 28,300 jobs over the year, or 2.6 percent increase. San Jose posted big gains in the tech sector, with most jobs added in information, up 9,200 jobs year-over-year, following by 6,800 jobs added in manufacturing, and 6,000 jobs added in professional and business services. Construction posted a loss of 3,000 jobs.
  • Alameda and Contra Costa counties posted a monthly decline of 22,500, and an annual gain of 16,600 jobs, or 1.4 percent increase. The region continued to benefit from the largest gains in the professional and business services industry, which added about half of the annual growth. Financial activities posted annual declines.
  • Marin County also posted a monthly decline of 2,200 jobs, and an annual increase of 1,700 or a 1.5 percent. The only sector with annual decline was financial activities, shedding 100 jobs on a yearly basis.
  • Napa and Sonoma counties saw a 1.8 percent and a 1.2 percent annual increase in jobs respectively. Napa’s largest increase was in manufacturing, while losses were seen in government, leisure, and information. Sonoma’s largest gains were in construction and losses in government.
  • As the state added over 3.1 million jobs since the economy recovery began, it is important to look at how housing supply managed to match the rate of growth. Table 2 summarizes the number of jobs added from 2012 to now and number of housing units permitted during the same period. The imbalances that range 3 to 4 jobs per 1 housing permit highlight the challenges that remain in ensuring that California’s most productive metropolitan areas provide sufficient housing for new workers and remain attractive to both workers and employers going forward. While discussion around the imbalances are beyond the scope of the current jobs report summary, it is nevertheless important to note in projecting future employment growth in the state.

Table 2

East Bay includes Alameda and Contra Costa counties
Los Angeles includes Los Angeles County
San Francisco includes San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo counties
San Jose includes Santa Clara and San Benito counties

Compass NorCal February 2019 Real Estate Update

While the pace of sales generally picked up from the January highs in most Bay Area regions in which Pacific Union DBA Compass operates, most regions saw relatively lower prices compared to last February when the robust spring price growth began. Click on each of our regions below for an expanded look at local real estate activity in February.


February median sales price in Contra Costa County has picked up from the previous three months but remained at $1,250,000, the same level as February of last year. Homes sold in an average of 25 days, one day faster than at the same time last year and 12 days faster than in December and January. See more Contra Costa County market statistics for February.

Defining Contra Costa County: Sales data shows single-family homes in Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek.


While median home prices in the East Bay in February remained relatively steady with the previous month at $1,150,000, it is still 10.3 percent above last year’s February price. After a steady increase over the last year, days on market leveled at around 22 days in the last two months. See East Bay market statistics for February.

Defining the East Bay: Sales data includes single-family homes in Oakland ZIP codes 94602, 94609, 94610, 94611, 94618, 94619, and 94705; Alameda; Albany; Berkeley; El Cerrito; Kensington; and Piedmont.


Marin County‘s $1,299,000 median sales price was down 3.1 percent from February 2018. Pace of home sales increased again from winter months, averaging 40 days on market, which is still 5 days slower than last February. See Marin County market statistics for February.

Defining Marin County: Sales data includes single-family homes in Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, and Tiburon.


At $625,000, Napa County‘s February median sales price continues to trend lower, posting a 13 percent decline from last February. But days on market picked up again and homes generally sold in 63 days, 30 days faster than last year. See Napa County market statistics for February.

Defining Napa County: Sales data includes single-family homes in American Canyon, Angwin, Calistoga, Napa, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, and Yountville.


While increasing from the month before, San Francisco February’s median prices of single family homes stood at $1,505,000, down 11.5 percent compared to the year prior. Pace of sales picked up again after slower winter months and averaged 28 days, only 3 days slower than last February. See San Francisco single-family-home market statistics for February.


At $1,142,500, the median sales price for a San Francisco condominium increased 5.3 percent from last year, and while the average premiums declined, condominiums still generally sold over asking price. Days on market also picked up and averaged 37 days, up from 35 days last year. See San Francisco condominium market statistics for February.


After falling below $3 million, Silicon Valley‘s median sales price picked up in February and closed the month at $3,075,000, a decline of 10.9 percent from last February. Inventory options continued to increase, with an annual increase of 30.8 percent in homes for sale. See Silicon Valley market statistics for February.

Defining Silicon Valley: Sales data includes single-family homes in Atherton, Los Altos (excluding county area), Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park (excluding east of U.S. 101), Palo Alto, Portola Valley, and Woodside.


The median sales price in the Mid-Peninsula continued to trend lower in February, and at $1,450,000 recorded 15.9 percent annual decline. Homes are selling at a slower pace with an average of 33 days on market, close to two weeks slower than last year. See other Mid-Peninsula market statistics for February.

Defining the Mid-Peninsula: Sales data includes single-family homes in Burlingame (excluding Ingold Millsdale Industrial Center), Hillsborough, and San Mateo (excluding the North Shoreview/Dore Cavanaugh area).


At $620,000, median home prices in Sonoma County trended lower in February with a 10 percent annual decline. Pace of sales increased slightly from January highs, despite a 15-day increase from last February to an average of 62 days on market. See Sonoma County market statistics for February.

Defining Sonoma County: Sales data in the adjoining chart includes all single-family homes and farms and ranches in Sonoma County.


Median home prices in Sonoma Valley stood at $755,000 in February, holding relatively steady compared to other Bay Area regions and down only 1.9 percent compared to last year. Nevertheless, days on market slowed considerably over the last year and averaged 115 days in February, from 44 days average last February. See Sonoma Valley market statistics for February.

Defining Sonoma Valley: Sales data includes all residential properties, including single-family homes, condominiums, and farms and ranches, in Glen Ellen, Kenwood, and Sonoma.


The median sales price in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee region rose slightly in February, up 0.5 percent year over year to end the month at $697,500. Price per square foot increased 16.3 percent to $529 per square foot. Days on market continued to extend and average 94 days in February, up from 80 days last year. See Lake Tahoe/Truckee single-family-home market statistics for February.

Defining Tahoe/Truckee: Sales data includes single-family homes in Alpine Meadows, Donner Lake, Donner Summit, Lahontan, Martis Valley, North Shore Lake Tahoe, Northstar, Squaw Valley, Tahoe City, Tahoe Donner, Truckee, and the West Shore of Lake Tahoe.


Condominium prices in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee region picked up slightly faster than single-family homes, and with an annual increase of 4.7 percent ended February at $445,000. Nevertheless, price per square foot slowed 15.5 percent from the year prior, down to $409 per square foot. Pace of condominium sales also increased compared to last year averaging 118 days on market, from an average of 154 days last February. See Lake Tahoe/Truckee condominium market statistics for February.

Defining Tahoe/Truckee: Sales data includes condominiums in Alpine Meadows, Donner Lake, Donner Summit, Lahontan, Martis Valley, North Shore Lake Tahoe, Northstar, Squaw Valley, Tahoe City, Tahoe Donner, Truckee, and the West Shore of Lake Tahoe.

Home as a work of art: Get inspired by these exhibits

If life imitates art, then these California exhibits just may inspire you to turn your home into a canvas for creative expression.

California crafty

California Visionaries: Seminal Studio Craft, Featuring Works from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Craft In America Center, Los Angeles, March 2–May 4

We love Ikea: It’s cheap and convenient. But sometimes your home is screaming for something unique and local. California Visionaries: Seminal Studio Craft, a landmark new exhibit at the Craft In America Center, highlights more than 40 one-of-a-kind works by some of the most innovative and important craft artisans in the Golden State over the last century. From inventive sculptures (such as the bas relief wood piece by Star Dann) to beautiful earthenware bowls by Laura Andreson, these lovingly handmade items should move you to ditch big boxes in favor of small makers. California Visionaries: Seminal Studio Craft, Featuring Works from the Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Craft In America Center, Los Angeles, March 2–May 4

Color me bold

Masako Miki / MATRIX 273, Berkeley Art Museum, Jan. 9–April 28

Beige. Eggshell. Off-white. Blah. A bright splash of color can help elevate any room in the home from hum-drum to super-fun. Berkeley artist Masako Miki’s playful exhibit features oversized felt-covered sculptures inspired by the traditional Japanese folk belief in yokai or shape-shifters. Vaguely reminiscent of furniture, these semi-abstract pieces practically illuminate the exhibit space all by themselves with brilliantly-hued vitality. Whether it’s a rug, a pillow, a chair, or artwork, your home just might benefit from a similar color boost.

Back to nature

Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Dec. 22, 2018–April 28

It wasn’t all sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. The ’60s were a transformative time for architecture and design in the United States, particularly in northern California. Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism explores one of the most influential embodiments of those ground-breaking ideas with an in-depth look inside this landmark community developed five decades ago on a breathtaking 10-mile stretch of California coastline north of San Francisco. And while Sea Ranch may be 50 years old, the principals upon which it was created—uncluttered design, economy of space, and, above all, architecture that conforms and takes its cues from its natural environment—remain timeless and relevant today.

Coming this fall: R-E-S-P-E-C-T in the home

With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985, Museum of Contemporary Art, Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, Oct. 27–March 30, 2020

Redecorating got you down? Opening this fall at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 should help reignite your love and respect for this craft. The exhibit showcases around 50 artists whose works embraced forms that had historically been dismissed and overlooked in the world of fine art as feminine or limited to the home. Often featuring floral, arabesque, and patchwork patterns, these intricate pieces lovingly borrow from such sources as Islamic architectural ornamentation, American quilts, wallpaper, Persian carpets, and domestic embroidery.  

Main photo courtesy of Sea Ranch: Architecture, Environment, and Idealism, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Stephen Udoff named Malibu Realtor of the Year

Compass real estate leader Stephen Udoff has been named Malibu’s Realtor of the Year. The  honor recognizes exceptional service, dedication and diligence in serving the members of the Malibu Association of Realtors and the Malibu community. 

Matt Ogden, Compass Regional Assistant Sales Manager (left) with Stephen Udoff

 acquired his first investment property
at 21 and was named Rookie of the Year by Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate in
the second year of his career. He recently became the youngest-ever President
of the Malibu Association of Realtors, and is also a Director of the California
Association of Realtors, representing the Beverly Hills/Malibu region.

of Stephen’s standout qualities is his ability to leverage digital technology
to market his real estate properties and personal brand. Known as Sunset Steve
on social media, he’s become known for his In-App Marketing tactics,
particularly his use of Snapchat to effectively engage with the community and
potential buyers. His
secret niche neighborhood market reports covering the coastal real estate scene
from Malibu to Venice have attracted a following of high-end clientele. Throughout 2018 he not only
achieved an impressive sales volume by helping his clients realize their real estate
goals, but served as an advocate for home ownership.  

“Stephen is more than a top producing agent and
a marketing technology innovator; he’s a true asset to the business,” said
Sarah Kosasky, Manager of the Compass Malibu office within the Malibu Country
Mart. “This latest honor will come as no surprise to his clients and
colleagues. I join the entire Compass team in congratulating him on this major

Compass California honors International Women’s Day

Real estate: career runway for women

Few fields today offer more avenues for advancement than residential real estate. According to NAR, a full 63 percent of Realtors® are women. (When the organization was founded in 1908,  membership was all-male – a situation that changed little until the ‘50s.) In honor of Women’s History Month, here’s a look at how women’s roles in real estate continue to grow.

Megan Whalen made a name for herself in Santa Monica’s Sunset Park neighborhood and has since become one of the Westside’s top agents, currently operating as MW Partners. She has been recognized as one of America’s Best Real Estate Agents by Real Trends in 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014.

Real estate offers women many perks that other fields don’t, including control over their own schedules and the ability to work from home. Now, in today’s fast-paced, competitive marketplace, leaders are quickly learning how critical having a wider range of perspectives is to success.

Many investors are demanding more diversity, too. As the industry places growing importance on women’s advancement, their careers are starting to gain momentum and include more prominent roles.

Compass CEO Robert Reffkin is one industry leader who’s never needed to be sold on the importance of women in his field. He grew up with a real estate agent mom, and watched as she searched for a brokerage firm that would give her the support she needed. “I’m proud that at Compass, we’re building the technology, marketing and community to allow my mom and people like her to be successful,” he says.

Lisa Kirshner
Inspired by the family trade, Lisa Kirshner learned all areas of the business, from commercial to residential to investments and syndication. With nearly 30 years of experience and an impressive personal network, Lisa leads her team in masterfully connecting discerning clients with Southern California’s greatest homes.

The company’s California executive team reflects his viewpoint, with COO Brent Thomson, VP of Marketing Jessica Grimes, Chief Economist & VP of Business Intelligence Selma Hepp, Southern California VP of Business Development Leah Sternberg and VP of Operations Chatty Arrieta.

With over 28 years of experience in real estate, Nina Hatvany has represented clients in well over $2 billion dollars in sales transactions. From 2008 to 2015, Nina has been ranked the top individual agent in the City of San Francisco, and has been recognized in the Wall Street Journal as one of the top 35 sales agents by volume nationwide. Prior to real estate, Nina was a Professor at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and later the Graduate School of Business at Berkeley, California. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford.

But Compass is still an exception. In a 2015 survey of women in leadership by the Urban Land Institute, only 12 percent of participants held president, CEO, executive director or similar titles – and of that group, only 7 percent led companies with more than 100 employees.

Carey Haynes’ 30 years of experience and guidance have played an integral role in bringing tech real estate company Compass and its forward-thinking brokerage model to the foothills of the San Gabriels. Haynes is consistently ranked amongst the highest-producing agents in the La Cañada vicinity and the top 1 percent of real estate agents nationwide.

Younger women who are newer to the industry are less likely than mid-career women to feel stifled by a glass ceiling, according to the survey.

“At Compass, we believe in the power of entrepreneurial thinking,” says Brent Thomson, Chief Operating Officer. “We’re looking for people who move fast, dream big, and want to shape the direction of their own careers while reimagining the real estate experience.”

Michele Downing has worked in real estate since 1988. In 2012 she became a Founding Partner of Partners Trust Real Estate Brokerage in Pasadena. She has lived in South Pasadena for more than 32 years.

Regardless of her position on the career ladder, there’s another way every woman in real estate can feel empowered. According to NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, single women now account for 17 percent of homebuyers in the United States, compared with just 7 percent of single men.

Napa Valley agent Hillary Ryan has more than 20 years of experience in residential and commercial real estate. She focuses on helping her clients transact wine country estates, vineyards, wineries, and commercial land development opportunities. Hillary has closed over $6 Billion transactions since the start of her real estate career in 1997.

A female professional is in a strong position to make a difference in these women’s lives by helping them achieve economic independence. And as Gloria Steinem noted, “Nothing changes the gender equation more significantly than women’s economic freedom.”

We are proud of all our Compass women real estate professionals. Here are just a few who were nominated by their office staff.