Home sales picked up during February throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, posting a 19.3 percent increase over a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Monday, March 23.
A total of 142 single-family homes changed owners, which also was 31.5 percent higher than the figure reported this January.
While demand was on the rise, there were a mere 47 condominium sales last month, due largely to a limited inventory, especially in affordable price ranges. The condo total was down 21.7 percent from February 2014 and 17.5 percent below this January.
“The rise in home sales is an encouraging sign as we move closer to the typically busy Spring and summer home buying seasons,” said Bob Khalsa, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “The local market regained some traction during February, with the market moving in the right direction as sales trended higher and prices showed signs of stabilizing.”
The single-family median price of $490,000 was up 11.5 percent from a year ago and 2.1 percent higher than January. It tied two other months, August and September, as the second highest monthly median price in the post-recession years.
The condominium median price of $300,000 was up 8.7 percent, but down 4.8 percent compared to January, which at $315,000 was the highest median since December 2007.
While recapturing much of the value lost in the recession, the home and condo median prices remained below their record highs of $643,000 and $397,000, respectively, with both set in 2006.
“The strong February numbers indicate that we’re moving into a market that should see slow, but steady improvement,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “It’s a traditional market, with sales increasing in the spring, more people listing their homes, especially now that almost all owners have equity, and modest increases in sales and prices.
“Recent reports that interest rates may increase mid-year may bring more buyers out,” Link said. “It also may prompt more owners to list now so that when they purchase a replacement residence they’ll capture low rates.”
A total of 532 properties were listed for sale on the Association-run Multiple Listing Service. That was down 1.8 percent from a year ago and represented, at the current pace of sales, a 2.8-month supply, which was slightly below the 3.0-month supply of February 2014 and well short of the desired 6-month inventory.
Of the 189 combined residential closed escrows last month, eight were foreclosure-related, for 4.2 percent of the market, 12 were short sales, 6.3 percent, and 164 were sales involving traditional buyers and sellers, or 86.8 percent of the total.
Heavier foot traffic reported at recent open houses bodes well for sales in the coming months. There were 335 open escrows—a measure of future sales activity—at the end of February. That was up 31.4 percent compared to a year ago.
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.
- 30 -