The median price of single-family homes sold during August throughout the San Fernando Valley hit $510,000, up 28.8 percent over a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Tuesday, Sept. 24.
It was the second highest median price reported this year, behind May’s median of $520,000, which was the highest since February 2008. August marked the fourth consecutive month the median has been above the benchmark of $500,000.
Similarly, the condominium median price for August came in at $335,00, up 36.7 percent over a year ago. The condo median was the highest since February 2008 and the fourth consecutive month above $300,000. Both median prices were up dramatically from the record low for the recent recession, with the single-family home median up 50.4 percent and the condo median up 81.1 percent. However, both medians are still below the boom record high—down 22.1 percent and off 19.3 percent, respectively.
“As single-family home prices increased and with a still-tight inventory, competition is increasing for entry level homes and condominiums,” said Sharon Barron, president of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “Home sales slowed slightly last month, partly due to a tick up in interest rates, while lower-priced condo sales shot higher.”
A total of 561 single-family homes changed owners during August, down 2.9 percent from a year ago, yet up 7.1 percent from this July.
Condominium sales totaling 247 units increased 42.8 percent over a year ago and 1.2 percent over this July. The condo total was below the peak 253 sales seen this May, making it the second best month for condo sales since June 2010. August condo sales were up 135.2 percent from the record low set in January 2008.
“The inventory of homes and condos available for sale is increasing ever so slightly, especially as prospective buyers hesitated last month until they were sure home loan interest rates were unlikely to rise higher,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “With a few more properties to choose from and still attractive interest rates, sales are likely to stay robust through the end of the year.”
After hitting a record low in December, the inventory of homes and condos listed for sale rose to its highest level during August with 1,579 active listings. That was up 19.4 percent over a year ago and the first time since June 2013 that the inventory was higher than the 1,500 benchmark.
At the current pace of sales the inventory represents a 2.0-month supply. A 6-month supply is needed for a balanced market where neither buyers nor sellers have a clear advantage.
For the second consecutive month standard sales came in above 80 percent while distressed sales fell to or near the lowest levels since the Association started keeping the statistic last year.
Of the 808 homes and condos that closed escrow last month, 81.4 percent were standard sales. Foreclosures, known as REO’s or Real Estate Owned, came in with 39 transactions or 4.8 percent of the total. Short payoffs, where the lender agrees to let an owner sell a home for less than the outstanding loan balance, came in with 102 transactions or 12.6 percent of the total.
For comparison, December saw 838 closed escrows, with 58.5 percent standard sales, 24.6 percent short sales, and 13.5 percent foreclosures.
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.