Sales of existing single-family homes increased 7.4 percent throughout Santa Clarita during August while the median price of homes that changed owners rose 6.6 percent, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday, Sept. 20.
A total of 262 homes closed escrow, up 18 transactions from a year ago and 40 sales higher than this July.
After months of posting higher sales as buyers sought affordable housing, condominium closed escrows returned to earth during August. REALTORS® helped close escrow on 91 condominiums, a 7.1 percent drop from August 2016, and fell 41 sales or 31.1 percent from July.
“The regionwide lack of inventory impacted home and condo sales,” said Marty Kovacks, chairman of the Association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division. “Buyers ran out of condo options as earlier offerings in entry-level market ranges were gobbled up and home buyers competed against each other whenever a properly priced home hit the market.
“There’s little surprise anymore whenever the laws of supply and demand kick into action,” Kovacs said.
The Association reported 533 active listings at the end of August. That was down 14.4 percent from a year ago and represented a 1.5-month supply at the then current pace of sales, well below the nine-year average monthly listing of a 4.9-month backlog.
With the exception of only three months, every month since February 2016 has posted a drop in the active inventory, including double-digit drops reported in six of this year’s eight months. For comparison, the record high inventory came in September 2006 with 2,630 active listings.
“Fluctuations in loan interest rates and the widespread awareness of a lack of inventory contribute to a sense of urgency for the dwindling number of prospective buyers who can still afford to by at today’s prices,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer. “The lack of inventory clearly influences buyers and drives prices higher, realities that likely will continue for the foreseeable future.”
The median price of homes sold last month came in at $574,500, up 6.6 percent from August 2016. The home median price was 10.7 percent below the record high of $643,000 set in April 2006. The highest median since that record was this June’s price of $586,000.
Condominiums that changed owners last month posted a median price of $360,000, up 3.6 percent from a year ago. That also was 9.3 percent below the record high of $397,000 set in January 2006.
Pending escrows, a gauge of future sales activity totaled 343, down 3.9 percent from August 2016.
Of the 353 combined residential transactions reported in August, 97.5 percent were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers. There were a total of four foreclosure-related transactions and four short sales with each representing a 1.1 percent share of the market.
The Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® is a local trade association with more than 9,800 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.
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