Home and condominium sales during August throughout the Santa Clarita Valley rose sharply, posting the third consecutive year-to-year increase, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Thursday, Sept. 15.
A total of 222 single-family homes changed owners last month, up 19.4 percent from a year ago and 18.7 percent higher than this July. The August total was the best monthly tally since July 2009. Local home sales are up 124.2 percent from the record low set in January 2008.
Condo sales also came in strong with the 94 closed escrows reported during August up 38.2 percent from a year ago and 28.8 percent better than July. An equal number of condo sales were reported in December 2009, but to beat that number requires going back to March 2007. Condo sales are up 203.2 percent from the record low set in January 2008.
“There’s pent-up demand for housing,” said Sal Aranda, president of the Association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division, “but what has stalled some buyers up to this point is economic uncertainty and what, if anything, lawmakers will do to speed recovery of housing.
“Yet the strong August sales numbers speak to the strength of our local community,” he said. “The Santa Clarita Valley is a highly desirable place to live, the local economy is robust, and the communities are welcoming. In the end, those attributes trump uncertainty.”
The median price of homes sold last month came in at $372,500, down 10.2 percent from a year ago and up less than 1 percent from July. Prices have been bouncing along the bottom with the August median up a mere 7.7 percent from the record low, which came in January.
The condominium median price also fell, down 7.0 percent to $200,000, which equals the record low also set this January.
“Combine low prices, low interest rates and the gradual availability of home loans and it’s easy to understand why buyers are more active in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “There simply are not many communities in Southern California that offer so much while costing so little.”
Pending escrows — a measure of future activity — suggest that this summer’s renaissance will continue. The 393 open escrows at the end of August were up 5.1 percent from a year ago.
A total of 1,115 properties were listed for sale throughout the Valley, down 5.5 percent from a year ago. That is a 3.5-month inventory at the current pace of sales.
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.