Buyers throughout the Santa Clarita Valley during March snapped up condominiums with the 120 closed escrows up 44.6 percent over a year ago and 62.2 percent ahead of February, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported on Tuesday, March 25.
The month-to-month increase reflects seasonal patterns, but the last three months have seen strong activity in condominium resales.
“Clients tell me their push for condominiums is simple—condos simply are more affordable than single-family homes,” said Martin “Marty” Kovacs, chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®. “And higher priced homes make qualifying for a loan much more difficult.”
The median price of condominiums sold during March came in at $345,000, which was up 4.5 percent over a year ago and 1.8 percent ahead of this February.
For comparison, the median price of single-family homes that changed owners during March was $535,000, up 2.9 percent above March 2016.
Prices throughout Santa Clarita prices appear to have hit a plateau and remain below record highs by double-digit numbers: the March single-family home median price was 16.8 percent below the record high of $643,000, set in April 2006; and the March condominium median came in 13.1 percent below the record of $397,000, which was set in January 2006.
A total of 203 single-family homes changed owners during March. That was unchanged from a year ago, yet up 53.8 percent from February, a dramatic jump in line with seasonal increases.
Home and condominium sales have been hampered by a severely limited inventory of properties listed for sale. There were a mere 414 active listings at the end of March on the Association’s Multiple Listing Service. That was down 19.4 percent from a year ago and represented a 1.3-month supply at the current pace of sales.
Inventory typically increases as the peak homebuying summer season approaches, yet the March inventory, while up from February, was closer to the record low monthly tally of 312 listings reported in March 2013. For comparison, the record high monthly total was set in September 2006 with 2,630 active listings.
Pending escrows—a measure of future sales activity—totaled 356 open escrows. That was down 8.7 percent from a year ago.
Distressed sales represent a minor part of the local resale market. Of the 323 home and condominium sale reported during March, 95.4 percent were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers. There were 10 foreclosure-related transactions, capturing a 3.1 percent share of the market, and four short sales, for a 1.2 percent market share.
The Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® is a local trade association with more than 9,600 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.
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