Realtors closed escrow on 217 single-family homes during October in the Santa Clarita Valley, an increase of 23.3 percent over a year ago and 14.2 percent better than the September tally, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday, Nov. 27.
It was the fourth time this year the monthly total broke the 200-sale benchmark. October home sales were up 119.2 percent from the record low for this cycle, which came in January 2008.
A total of 83 condominiums also changed owners last month, down 2.4 percent from a year ago and off 8.8 percent from this September. Nonetheless, the October total was up 167.7 percent from the low for this cycle, which also was set in January 2008.
“Traditional buyers are coming back into the market as they finally understand the scope of today’s opportunities, even with an incredibly limited inventory,” said Erika Kauzlarich-Bird, president of the Association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division. “Not only is Santa Clarita a fantastic place to live, but today’s prices are unlikely to be seen again for a long while.”
While trending higher, in large measure due to multiple offers on almost all properties, the $360,000 median price reported for October was off 1.1 percent from a year ago. The condominium median price, however, rose 7.0 percent to $200,000.
“Santa Clarita is part of a statewide trend that has seen the supply of homes listed for sale fall sharply lower with each passing month,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer.
“Some of the inventory decline is due to a drop in listings of bank-owned properties, which is a positive sign that the market moving back to normal,” he said. “It’s also partially due to the fact that too many owners owe more than their home’s current resale value, which makes it difficult to move and take advantage of today’s market opportunities.”
There were 373 active listings at the end of October on the MLS operated by the Association. That was down 66.3 percent from a year ago and marked the third consecutive month that the inventory fell to a record low. It was also the third consecutive month that the inventory decline was in excess of 60 percent.
At the current pace of sales the inventory represents a record-low 1.2-month supply. That compares to a 4.2-month supply a year ago and the ideal of a 5- to 6-month inventory, which represents a balanced market where neither buyers nor sellers have an advantage.
“Despite a vanishing inventory, we’re confident that 2013 will see strong activity and continued improvement in the local housing market,” Link said. “There’s pent-up demand for housing out that is generating multiple offers on virtually every property.”
Of the total single-family home and condominium sales last month, 12.7 percent were REO’s, bank owned property typically acquired via foreclosure, 35.1 percent were short sales, where lenders allow a sale for less than what is owed, and 36.5 percent were standard or traditional equity sales. REO sales have been trending lower while short sales and standard sales posted their highest percent so far in this market recovery.
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.