Realtors closed escrow during June on more homes in the Santa Clarita Valley than any other month since March 2007, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Wednesday, July 25.
A total of 238 single-family homes changed owners, 9.7 percent higher than a year ago and up 28.0 percent from the 186 sales of this May.
Condominium sales likewise continued to rebound with the 93 closed escrows up 16.3 percent over June 2011 and 12.0 percent ahead of the May tally. Home sales are up 140.4 percent and condo sales are 200.0 percent better than their respective lows for this cycle, both of which came in January 2008.
“Santa Clarita is such a fantastic place to live and our local economy so solid that the continued rebound from recession comes as no surprise,” said Erika Kauzlarich-Bird, president of the Association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division. “What is a little amazing is that sales continue to come even as the inventory drops lower and lower with each passing month.”
Many communities throughout California and nationwide report that a dwindling inventory is putting a brake on sales, yet Santa Clarita’s housing market continues to rebound from one of the worst national recessions in 70 years.
A mere 544 properties were listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service operated by the Association, down 51.3 percent from a year ago when there were 1,116 active listings. At the current pace of sales the June inventory represents a mere 1.6-month supply compared to 3.8 months in June 2011.
“The falling inventory is due to a combination of factors,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “Those reasons include ongoing consumer uncertainty about the economy, fewer bank-owned properties coming on the market, and nearly one third of homeowners statewide owing more than their property is worth, thus freezing in place what otherwise would be a large number of prospective owners who might list for sale.”
Nonetheless, Link and Kauzlarich-Bird noted that standard sales involving owners who have equity in their property are slowing rising as growing numbers of people understand that today’s market is so favorable due to historically low interest rates and exceptional housing bargains. Many are moving into the market hoping to snag a bargain before the opportunity passes.
Investors and all-cash buyers remain a strong factor in the local market, but now many homes and condos attract multiple offers from traditional buyers.
“The window of opportunity is closing with each passing month as the impact of the recession recedes,” Kauzlarich-Bird said. “A normal market is still at least a year away, yet any owner with equity in their property and a desire for a new home would be well advised to get active now.
“Prices most likely will never return to the heights of the boom market, yet properly priced homes now often sell for more than the list price while today’s buyers are winning considerably more house for each dollar,” she said.
The median price of the 238 homes that changed owners last month came in at $360,000, down 2.7 percent from a year ago and unchanged from this May. Prices have been above $360,000 every month this year and have been trending higher since the beginning of an uneven recovery that started in 2010.
The condominium median price of $195,000 was down 2.5 percent from June 2011. Single-family homes and condominiums posted there respective lows for this cycle in late 2011, with each up 5.9 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively.
The Southland Regional Association of Realtors® is a local trade association with more than 9,000 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.
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