A key statistic showed the inventory of homes listed for sale on the rise during January while the median price of homes sold continued to move higher, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Friday, Feb. 27.
There were 554 active listings of single-family homes and condominiums, which was up 11.7 percent from a year ago January. However, the inventory at the current pace of sales hit its highest mark since February 2012, posting a 3.4-month supply. A 5-month supply suggests a balanced market, yet the inventory tipping over the 3.0-month mark for only the second time in three years bodes well for the local market, especially with the typically busy spring home buying season fast approaching.
“Now that distressed sales in the form of foreclosures and short sales have vanished,” said Bob Khalsa, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, “the local market is poised for a busy spring buying season fueled primarily if not exclusively by traditional home buyers and sellers.”
Khalsa said properly priced homes still attract multiple offers even though today’s prices have moved well above bargain-sale figures the appear following the housing crash.
The median price of single-family homes sold during January in Santa Clarita came in at $480,000, up 10.9 percent from a year ago. It was down 3.0 percent from the $495,000 median of December, which flirted with the $500,000 benchmark price, a median price not been seen since 2006.
The condominium median price of $315,000 posted this January was up 26.0 percent over January 2014 and was the highest monthly median since July 2012. It was only the second time the monthly condo median price exceeded $300,000 since its recession-induced low of $170,000.
“Resale price increases likely will flatten out as affordability issues come into play even here in Santa Clarita, a highly desirable community in Southern California,” said Jim Link, SRAR’s chief executive officer. “A rising resale inventory and continued low interest rates should prod renters and prospective buyers to get busy.”
A total of 108 single-family homes closed escrow during January. That was down 21.7 percent from a year ago. Condominium sales total 57 units, off 12.3 percent compared to January 2014.
Khalsa noted that local condominium sales have been hampered because too many local home owner associations have not applied for the approval needed for buyers to obtain FHA financing, which offers lower down payment options and lower interest rates. Failure to obtain FHA financing limits the pool of traditional buyers, making it more likely an investor will purchase units and offer them to renters, which can hinder HOA efforts to put the association on solid financial footing.
Of the combined residential sales total of 165 homes and condominiums, 87.3 percent were standard sales involving traditional buyers, 10.9 percent were short sales, and a mere 1.2 percent were foreclosures, with the latter number being the lowest since the Association started keeping the statistic in 2012.
The Southland Regional Association of Realtors® is a local trade association with more than 9,100 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.