Single-family home sales during August throughout the San Fernando Valley jumped 14.7 percent compared to a year ago and rose 18.4 percent from this July’s total, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Thursday, Sept. 15.
The sale of 618 homes was the highest monthly total so far this year and the best month since a year ago June. Home sales are up 91.3 percent from the record-low for this cycle, which came in January 2008.
Likewise, condominium sales of 221 units jumped 6.3 percent over a year ago and rose 15.1 percent from July. It was the highest monthly total since June 2010. Condo sales are up 110.5 percent from the record low, also set in January 2008.
“While not wholly surprising, it is great news that buyers are getting more active,” said Fred Sabine, the Association’s 2011 president. “Lenders ever so slowly are clearing the way for loans at a time when interest rates are extremely favorable and homes are eminently affordable.
“Sales typically pick up during summer months, so the surprise is that this increase comes later than usual,” Sabine said. “There’s pent-up demand for housing, buyers are tired of waiting, and many see that the market is as favorable as it’s likely to get.”
Buyers are jumping into the market because they see what’s happening with prices, he said. Resale prices had been trending higher prior to the end last year of homebuyer tax credits and since then have posted further modest gains.
While down 10.5 percent from year ago levels, the median prices of homes sold last month rose from its record low and continues to bounces up and down from month-to-month.
The single-family home median price of $358,000 was 5.3 percent above its record low of February 2009 while the condominium median of $204,000 was up 10.3 percent.
“The drumbeat of sour economic news has been so loud that it’s taken longer for buyers to get the message that home prices are low and likely to continue rising,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer.
“In fact, when you scan the economy, there simply is not another asset class out there that is currently so undervalued and ripe for recovery,” Link said.
Active listings throughout the Valley fell 19.4 percent last month to 3,162. That is a 3.8-month supply at the current pace of sales, which represents a tightening of supply that in any other market would favor sellers and push prices higher.
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.