A recent edition of the Sunday Los Angeles Times featured a real estate article on the struggles of homebuyers in Echo Park, Highland Park, and other Northeast Los Angeles neighborhoods to find and get a home because of low inventory and lots of competition in the lower- to medium-range priced homes.
The article quotes Echo Park resident David Dennick on his frustration, saying: "It is much more competitive than we thought. It is just frustrating because we thought we would really be able to buy a house; we are a middle-class family."
The article reports Redfin's numbers for the month of April - homes listed for sale fell 35% in Los Angeles County.
There are both good and bad sides to the story: The good thing is that sellers aren't having much trouble selling; the bad is that there's just not enough inventory for buyers in the area. Add to that the problem with undervalued appraisals by lenders - even in the case of a bidding war, if the home is appraised lower than the price paid, there will be problems with financing.
My advice is to make sure you have a good lender, and in more than a decade I've never had a single issue with appraisals.