The median price of homes and condominiums sold during October increased slightly from a year ago even as the inventory of homes listed forn Monday, Nov. 19.
Single-family homes that closed escrow last month had a median — where half the sales had higher prices and half lower — of$678,000, up 4.6 percent from a year ago and 1.2 percent higher than this September’s home median.
Only three months this year have seen a home median at or higher than $700,000, including May and August, which set the record high median of $708,000.
The median price of condominiums that changed owners during October was $440,000. That was up 6.0 percent from October 2017 and 2.3 percent ahead of this September’s figure. The condo record high of $449,000 came in July and August of this year.
“Home and condo prices appear to have plateaued due to growing affordability concerns, questions about the economy, and steady increases in the number of homes listed for sale,” said Gary Washburn, president of the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®. “The day’s of double-digit monthly hikes in prices appear to be gone.
“The inventory is nowhere near historical highs and certainly not enough to put buyers in charge,” he said, “but after years of continued declines in supply, any increase will help buyers.”
At the end of October there were 1,601 homes and condominiums listed for sale on the Association’s Multiple Listing Service. That was 28.5 percent higher than a year ago and represented a 2.7-month supply at the current pace of sales.
Five of the last six months have seen increases in the inventory compared to the prior year with the last three months posting double-digit gains
The hikes follow the record low 819 listings reported in December and 39 consecutive monthly declines in active listings. For comparison, the record high listing total was 14,309 listings reported in July 1991. The highest listings total during the boom of last decade was 7,730 in October 2007.
“Sales typically taper off as the holidays and the end of the year approach, which tend to increase listings,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer.
“Listings are also increasing,” Johnson said, “because owners understand that they can still maximize their return on their home even as the number of buyers shrink due to affordability limitations and interest rate hikes. Plus, the modest increase in listings gives buyers a wider selection, thus making it possible that more sellers will be open to negotiating their asking price.”
REALTORS® assisted on the close of escrow during October of 452 single-family home transactions. That number was down 10.7 percent from a year ago, yet up 7.1 percent from this September.
There also were 136 condominium closed escrows last month, the Association reported, down 29.5 percent compared to October 2017 and up 7.9 percent from September.
Not surprisingly, distressed sales have virtually vanished from the radar. Of the 588 combined home and condo sales, 97.4 percent were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers.
There were zero distressed condominium transactions reported to the Association last month. Single-family home transactions saw four foreclosure related escrows and one short sale, where the lender agrees to a purchase price lower than the outstanding loan balance.
The Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® is a local trade association with more than 10,300 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.
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