Realtors helped close escrow on 113 single-family home sales during January throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, which was up 4.6 percent compared to 12 months ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Thursday, Feb. 18.
Fifty-five condominiums also changed owners during January, down 3.5 percent from the year ago tally. Both home and condo sales showed steep declines from December sales totals, a drop that follows what typically is a heavy yearend rush to close escrows combined with seasonal forces.
“We fully expect 2016 to continue to reflect ongoing improvements in the local residential resale market,” said M. Dean Vincent, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “Barring any unexpected, sudden jolts, that means low interest rates will continue to fuel solid sales and modest price increases with the severe lack of inventory preventing the market from overheating.”
Vincent and Realtor leaders statewide have expressed ongoing concern that rising resale prices push too many prospective homebuyers out of the market.
“No doubt, the lack of inventory will fuel additional price gains,” he said, “though hopefully this year will see only low, single-digit hikes. The lack of inventory and dwindling affordability are major issues limiting local and statewide home sales.”
There were 485 active listings throughout the Santa Clarita Valley at the end of January. That was down 12.5 percent from a year ago. Of that total 363 were homes and 122 condominiums.
At the current pace of sales the 485 active listings represent a 2.9-month supply, well below the 3.4-month inventory of January 2015 and the desired 6-month backlog — or about 2,900 listings — which could balance market forces.
“New home construction is underway again in Santa Clarita, which once it hits the market may ease upward pressure on existing housing resale prices,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “Interest rates are still low and there are plenty of fully qualified buyers out there eager to snap up a median- or lower-priced home. There simply are not enough homes listed to satisfy demand.”
The median price of single-family homes that changed owners during January came in at $530,000, up 10.4 percent over a year. It was the second time that number was posted, first in May of last year, and again in January, with both being the highest monthly median since December 2007. The January median price was 17.6 percent below the record high of $643,000 set in April 2006.
The condominium median price of $306,000 was down 2.7 percent from January 2015. The condo monthly median may have peaked last year with the $330,000 median posted in July and again in November.
Standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers captures 91.1 percent of the combined residential resale market last month. There were a mere two single-family foreclosure-related REOs, or 1.2 percent of the total market. Realtors reported zero condominium REOs last month, which was the first time that’s happened since the Association started keeping these statistics.
There were a total of 10 short sales, representing 6.0 percent of the combined residential resale market, of which only two were condominiums.
The Southland Regional Association of Realtors® is a local trade association with more than 9,500 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.
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