The housing market in the Santa Clarita Valley outperformed other areas of the state during October, posting a 6.7 percent increase in sales and a modest increase in the median price of single-family homes, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Monday, Nov. 24.
A total of 191 single-family homes changed owners, up 12 sales or 6.7 percent compared to October 2013, and also a 2.1 percent gain from this September. It was the highest total for the month of October since the 197 sales of October 2009.
Realtors also helped close escrow on 104 condominiums during October, off 1 percent from a year ago, but up 11.8 percent from this September.
“The local market is showing strength, continued demand, and even a rising inventory, all signs that consumers have faith in the local economy,” said Nancy Starczyk, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “It’s a tribute to the desirability of our Valley and the steps taken by local leaders to ensure continued growth and stability. Low interest rates help a lot, too.”
Starczyk said a slowdown in the increase of resale prices was inevitable, noting that moderate price increases benefit everyone by keeping the market moving and affordable.
The median price of single-family homes sold during October was $457,000, up 3.9 percent from a year ago, but off 6.7 percent from this September and August’s median of $490,000, which was the highest median price since February 2008.
The single-family median price has increased year-to-year for 27 consecutive months, beginning in November 2012. Through most of 2013 the price increase were in the high teens and low 20 percent range. But 2014 has seen a steady slowdown in the increases, which fell to single-digits in June. The October increase of 3.9 percent was lowest in the long-running streak of price hikes.
“The activity we’re seeking suggests the Santa Clarita housing market is much closer to a normal, healthy market than many other areas of the state,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “New home construction in the Valley helps with resale housing, too, but the region’s economy is outperforming other communities. The slowdown of price increases shows the market is working.”
The median price of condominiums sold last month was $289,000, up 3.2 percent from a year and up the same percentage from this September. The condominium median price peaked in July 2013 at $300,000. It is up 70 percent from the low point of the recession, yet both condos and homes remained 28.9 percent and 27.2 percent, respectively, below their boom-year record highs.
The active inventory of properties listed for sale on the Association’s Multiple Listing Service came in at 616 homes and condominiums. That was up 11.2 percent from a year ago. At the current pace of sales, that represents a 2.1-month supply, up slightly from the 2.0-month inventory of October 2013. A 6-month supply is optimal.
Pending sales—a measure of future resale activity—typically start falling as the yearend approaches, but there were 324 open escrows at the end of October, up 4.2 percent over 12 months ago.
Vanishing distressed sales and rising traditional sales represented other statistics suggesting that the Santa Clarita market is far along in its recovery. Of the 295 total combined residential sales during October, foreclosure-related sales—so called Real Estate Owned properties—accounted for a record low 1.4 percent, a mere four foreclosure. There were 14 short sales—where the lender accepts a purchase price lower than the outstanding loan on the home—or 4.7 percent of the combined residential total.
And, standard sales, typically involving traditional home buyers, accounted for 273 transactions—a record 92.5 percent of total sales activity.
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.