Realtors closed escrow on 205 homes in Santa Clarita during November, up 33.1 percent over a year ago while the median price came in at $545,000, 4.8 percent higher than November 2015, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
The home sale total also was 1.0 percent higher than the October tally and was the best for a November since 2005. November marked the ninth consecutive month local home sales exceeded the 200-sale benchmark.
“If December sales hit or exceed 200 sales, as has happened over the last five years, the annual home sales tally will be higher than 2015,” said M. Dean Vincent, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “It also will mark the second consecutive year the annual total will post positive numbers after modest declines in annual sales in 2013 and 2014.”
Unlike most other communities throughout Southern California, Santa Clarita sales of existing homes post positive numbers partly because of ongoing new home construction.
Realtors also helped close escrow on 89 condominium escrows during November, an increase of 3.5 percent from a year ago, but off 6.3 percent on a month-to-month basis. If 100 condos close escrow during December, the annual condominium tally will match or slightly exceed 2015.
The median price of single-family homes that closed escrow during November was $545,000, up 4.8 percent over a year ago, but down 0.5 percent from October. The October median was 15.2 percent below the record high of $643,000 set in April 2006. The high point for the home median since the housing recovery began came this June with a $575,000 median price. It has been drifting lower since.
The condominium median price of $340,000 was up 3.0 percent from November 2015. It was 14.4 percent below the record high condo median of $397,000, which came in January 2006. The highest monthly median price reported since the housing recovery started came this May with a median of $349,500.
“2017 most likely holds more of what we saw during 2016, though with a new administration in D.C. and a whole new outlook, who knows what changes are in store for the overall economy,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “With the recent bump up in interest rates and with more rate hikes expected, we may see increased activity and home sales, which frequently happens as people rush to lock in lower rates.
“At the moment, there’s nothing to suggest the New Year will be different than what we saw this year,” Link said, “but that all could change if something radical happens.”
The lack of inventory continues to be a primary brake on sales — along with rising affordability concerns. There were 486 active listings at the end of November throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. That was down 11.2 percent from a year and represented a 1.7-month supply at the current pace of sales.
Pending escrows, a measure of future sales activity, total 252, up 1.6 percent from November 2015.
Distressed sales have largely dropped off the radar locally. There were a mere four sales, two homes and two condos, during November, for a 1.4-percent share of the market. For the first time since the Association started keeping the statistics in June 2012, there were zero foreclosure-related transactions. Otherwise, 98.0 of November sales activity were standards transactions involving traditional homebuyers and sellers.
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.