Home and condominium sales increased on a month-to-month basis during April throughout the San Fernando Valley even as the median price continued to climb, albeit at a moderated pace, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Friday, May 23.
The median price of single-family homes that closed escrow last month came in at $519,000, up 12.8 percent over a year ago and 0.8 percent higher than this March. It was the second highest median price of this recovery behind the $520,000 median posted in May 2013 and again in September. The April median was up 53.1 percent from the depths of the recession, yet was 20.8 percent below the peak set in June 2007.
The condominium median price continued to fluctuate with the figure for April at $312,000, up 12.6 percent over a year ago. April’s condo median price was up 68.6 percent from the bottom of the market.
“Increased sales activity at this time of year are partly seasonal,” said Roger Hance, president of the Association, “and partly because buyers realize that today’s pricing is the new reality, now that there are very few distressed properties for sale.
“Price increases are slowing down,” Hance said. “Buyers realize it makes no sense to wait if the future holds higher prices and probably slightly higher interest rates on home loans.”
A total of 546 single-family homes closed escrow during April. That was down 2.5 percent from a year ago, yet up 31.9 percent from this March. Escrows also closed on 183 condominium sales during April, which were down 4.7 percent from April 2014, but 34.6 percent ahead of this March.
“Supply is still tight, but rising resale prices have yielded a more balanced housing market where neither buyers nor sellers hold a particular advantage,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “There are fewer properties attracting multiple offers and for each report of a multiple offer we’re now hearing that some properties see little or no activity because they are overpriced. That’s the way the market should act.”
The Association reported a total of 1,599 active listings throughout the San Fernando Valley at the end of April. That was up 43.2 percent over a year ago, which is a significant increase, but well short of what’s needed to serve this vast region.
At the current pace of sales the active listing total represented a 2.2-month supply, up from a 1.5-month supply in April 2013. A 6-month supply is desired.
Short sales and Real Estate Owned properties have been trending lower for many months yet bumped up slightly in April. Of the 729 escrows closed by Realtors, 4.4 percent were short sales, 8.2 percent foreclosure-related REOs, and 86.8 percent standard sales, which was the second highest figure on record behind the 88.0 percent in March.
The Southland Regional Association of Realtors® is a local trade association with more than 8,900 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.
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