Escrow closed on 83 condominium sales last month in the Santa Clarita Valley, which was up 20.3 percent over a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on
Thursday, April 14.
The condominium sales jump, including a 50.9 percent increase from the seasonably low levels of February, were fueled in large measure by strong demand from first-time buyers eager to escape rising rents and gain a toehold in the highly desired local real estate market.
Realtors also helped close escrow on 203 single-family home sales during March, which was down 2.9 percent from a year ago, but also followed traditional patterns with an increase of 49.3 percent from February.
“If we had more supply we would satisfy more buyers while price increases would be more gradual,” said M. Dean Vincent, president of the Santa Clarita Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
“Heavy demand combined with tight supply are pushing prices too high too fast,” said M. Dean Vincent. “Yet a surge in listings won’t happen anytime soon, especially now that people stay in one home longer than in past decades.”
There were 514 active listings in Santa Clarita at the end of March, down 4.1 percent from a year ago. The total represents a mere 1.8-month supply at the current pace of sales, although that is likely to grow slightly as summer approaches.
“Low inventory equals low sales,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “You don’t need a PhD. in math or economics to figure that one out.”
The $520,000 median price of single-family homes sold in March was identical to a year ago and also was reported in November. That’s slightly below the $530,000 median price high point reported so far in this recovery.
The condominiums that changed owners during March had a median price of $330,000, up 8.2 percent from a year ago, but off 1.5 percent from February, which was the highest since September 2007.
The condominium median price also was 16.9 percent below the record high of $397,000 set in January 2006.
Pending escrows, a measure of future sales activity, totaled 390, up 2.4 percent from a a year ago.
Of the 286 homes and condominiums that closed escrow last month, 94.4 percent were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers. Foreclosure-related transactions captured a mere 1.4 percent share of the combined residential market, while short payoffs totaling 10 transactions held a 3.5 percent market share.
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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