Sales of existing single-family homes throughout the Santa Clarita Valley jumped 22.2 percent during October while condominium sales rose 14.9 percent, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Both also posted gains from September, rising 7.3 percent and 28.8 percent, respectively. Home sales are up 77.8 percent from the record low for this cycle while condo sales are 174.2 percent better than the low point, which came for both in January 2008.
“The people active in today’s market understand the scope of the opportunity,” said Sal Aranda, president of the Association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division, “Homes are incredibly affordable and interest rates on home loan have not been this low in decades.”
Aranda said that interest rates hovering near 4 percent, near-record low resale prices, combined with Santa Clarita’s high desirability as a place to live and a more vibrant local economy lure more local buyers than surrounding communities.
The median price of single-family homes sold last month came in at $364,000, down 6.7 percent from a year ago. The condominium median price of $186,900 fell 21.8 percent from a year ago, setting a new low for this cycle.
“Until government does something definitively to help housing,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer, “the market will improve only slowly, and people will sit on the sidelines, which is too bad because some will miss the best opportunity to buy a home in a generation.”
Link and Aranda noted that returning the cap on the conforming loan limit to $729,750, which recently passed Congress and is likely to be signed by President Obama, is welcome news for the local market.
The higher loan limit means that anyone trying to buy, sell, or refinance a home in the Valley of up to $729,750 will be eligible for an FHA-insured mortgage, which offers borrowers a much lower down payment, and a much lower interest rate and increases the likelihood that a buyer will be approved for a loan.The increase applies to FHA-insured loans only — Fannie and Freddie were excluded — and will remain in place until Dec. 31, 2013.
A total of 1,106 properties were listed for sale at the end of the month, down 14.5 percent from a year ago. At the current pace of sales, the inventory represents a 4.2-month supply, down from 5.9-months a year ago. A 5- to 6-month supply represents a balanced market.
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.