A total of 165 single-family homes and 74 condominiums changed owners last month in the Santa Clarita Valley, numbers that show the local resale housing market is gradually improving, even as consumers wrestle with ongoing uncertainty about the economy, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday, April 19.
The 165 home sales were down 17.6 percent from a year ago, yet up 42.2 percent from this March and a whopping 66.7 percent higher than the record low of 99 sales set in January 2008 during the Great Recession.
Likewise, condo sales were down 18.7 percent from a year ago, but up 39.6 percent from February and 138.7 percent better than the record low.
“Home owners who need to move up understand that whatever they think they may lose on the sale of their home they will more than make up on the purchase of a replacement home,” said Sal Aranda, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “That’s how favorable the prices are compared to just a few years ago.”
Plus, Aranda said, in addition to already low interest rates on home loans, two local banks and one credit union now offer conventional home loans that require a 5 percent down payment. Until recently, only FHA loans provided the advantage of a 3.5 percent down payment option while most lenders insisted on a 20 percent or higher down payment.
“There’s no doubt the local housing market is loosening up, gradually improving, even as consumers wrestle with ongoing uncertainty about the economy and we work through remaining troubled loans,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “This is the time of year when sales activity typically takes off, yet despite pent-up demand for housing, some buyers are waiting to see signs of further improvement in the economy and resolution of government budget problems at the state and national levels.”
The median price of the 165 homes sold last month came in at $376,000, down 6.0 percent from a year ago and off 2.3 percent from February. The condominium median price of $235,000 was down 2.1 percent and up 2.2 percent from February.
The active inventory increased 31.5 percent during March to a total of 1,166 listings. At the current pace of sales, that represents a 4.9-month supply, just shy of the desired 5- to 6-month inventory.
Pending escrows totaled 408 at the end of March, down 13.4 percent from a year ago.
The Southland Regional Association of Realtors® is a local trade association with more than 10,000 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.
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