The median price of homes sold during May in the San Fernando Valley came in at $600,000, marking the third time since 2007 it has been at or above that benchmark, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Wednesday, June 22.
The median price fell 1.6 percent from April’s $610,000 figure, which was the highest since the recession, yet still below the record high of $655,000 set in June 2007.
The condominium median price for May was $358,000, up 4.4 percent from a year ago and slightly lower than this April. It was the highest median price for the month of May since 2007, though 13.7 percent under the record-high condominium median price of $415,000 established in February 2006.
“Everybody is getting incredibly aggressive and impatient,” said Gina Uzunyan, president of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “It’s the same story in almost every price range. Buyers are frantically hunting for properties, with some calling literally every day. Yet for every property multiple offers line up, ready to go.
“Demand is there, but supply is missing,” she said. “If a property doesn’t sell quickly, it’s probably overpriced, got something wrong with it, or both.”
Even as rising prices limit options for growing numbers of prospective buyers, the region’s tight inventory combined with heavy demand pushes prices higher.
The imbalance has been a drag on sales. Through May, local home sales were 5.7 percent behind the first five months of 2015..
“The market could be better, although the combined impact of low inventory and falling affordability prevent the market from overheating,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “Statistics show that people are staying in their homes longer, contributing to the inventory issue. Plus, everyone is more focused on the national election, so I don’t expect much change until we see what happens in November.”
Link and Uzunyan stressed that buyers need to be ready to pounce when they find the house they want.
“You won’t have time to look around at a dozen other houses and expect to go back to the one you liked — it won’t be available,” Link said. “Offers pile up within days, if not hours, of a property being listed for sale.”
The Association reported 521 single-family homes closed escrow during May. That was down 7.5 percent from a year ago, but up 1.4 percent from this April.
Realtors helped close escrow on 201 condominium sales during May — up 23.3 percent over a year ago and 21.8 percent ahead of this April. It was the first month since last October to exceed the 200-sale benchmark and the highest for the month since May 2013.
There were 1,500 active listings at the end of the month, down 4.5 percent compared to May 2015. At the current pace of sales, the inventory represented a 2.1-month supply, down from last year’s 2.2-month inventory.
Pending escrows, a measure of future sales activity, were down less than 1 percent for a total of 830 open transactions.
Distressed sales, which for a long while bolstered the inventory, have fallen into a pattern that appears to yield little impact on the market. Of the total 772 combined residential transactions, 16 or 2.2 percent were foreclosure related while 20 or 2.8 percent were short sales. Standard sales, involving traditional buyers and sellers, accounted for 681 transactions for a 94.3 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.