Following a pattern seen in many regions statewide, sales of existing single-family homes during July in the Santa Clarita Valley rose 6.3 percent, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Friday, Aug. 19.
A total of 187 homes changed owners, up 11 transactions from a year ago when sales were bolstered by the presence of federal and state home buyer tax credits. It was the second consecutive month that sales improved over a year ago.
Condominium sales of 73 units came in 7.4 percent better than July 2010, the first time that’s happened in eight months.
Home sales are up 88.9 percent from their record low for this cycle, set in January 2008, while condo sales have surged 135.5 percent since hitting bottom in the same month.
“Given pent-up demand, near record low interest rates and affordable prices you’d think that sales would come in even stronger, but even this small step forward is welcome,” said Sal Aranda, president of the Association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division. “Consumer are concerned about the economy, but I cannot stress strongly enough the uniqueness of the opportunities present in this market, which is changing on a daily basis.”
The median price of the homes sold last month came in at $370,000 down 12.0 percent from a year ago; it was unchanged from this June. The condo median price of $217,500 was off 1.1 percent, but up 8.8 percent from June.
Prices have been bouncing up and down since hitting bottom in January, with the single-family median now 6.9 percent higher and the condo median up 8.8 percent from their respective lows.
“While the Santa Clarita economy is relatively strong and growing, sustained job and income increases nationwide are needed before consumers can feel confident and housing can truly get on track,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer.
“The traditional incentives — low interest rates and low prices — lure the savvy, well-qualified buyers who need a home and intend to stay put for a number of years,” Link said. “There are plenty of others who want to buy, but need better economic news to get them into the market.”
There were a total of 1,148 active listings at the end of July, up 1.9 percent from a year ago. At the current pace of sales the inventory represents a 4.4-month supply, down slightly from the 4.6-month supply of July 2010. A 5- to 6-month supply is desired.
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.