REALTORS® throughout Santa Clarita helped close escrows during 2018 on 2,247 single-family homes and 988 condominiums, both lower totals from the prior year as rising prices limited the pool of qualified buyers even asn Friday, Jan. 25
The home total was down 9.3 percent from 2017 while the condominium tally was off 15.0 percent. It was the second consecutive year local home sales declined and the first year since 2011 that condominium sales did not exceed the 1,000-sale benchmark.
The 3,225 home and condominium transactions reported in 2018 generated $1.8 billion for the local economy, not including related economic benefits of remodeling, landscaping, home furnishings and purchase of new appliances that typically accompany home sales. The combined sales total was down 1.1 percent while the dollar volume was off 5.9 percent from the 2017 totals.
“2019 will see more of the same, but buyers now have way more negotiating power,” said Amanda Etcheverry, the 2019 chair of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®. “While still early in the process with the housing shortage still providing sellers an edge, the market is giving buyers some advantages, especially as houses sit longer on the market, inventory grows slightly, and many active listings report price reductions.”
Etcheverry and Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer, agreed that prices have risen so high so fast that to many prospective buyers were left behind.
“We’ve hit a point where there may be downward pressure on prices,” Johnson said, “as the market shifts to the middle in an effort to regain buyers who have been priced out.”
Prices may overall continue to swell in 2019, but at a much slower pace, while sales will stay similar to 2018 results, he said.
The annual median price of single-family homes was $594,242, up 4.6 percent from a year ago.
Unlike most Southern California communities, Santa Clarita is unique in that so far this real estate cycle it has not posted a new record high home price but has kept the $603,492 record posted in 2006 at the height of the boom market of last decade.
The record high condominium annual median price of $389,575 was up 8.5 percent over a year ago. It broke the prior record of $380,583 set in 2006.
The average monthly active listing count for 2018 was 544 listings. That was up 18.5 percent over the 459 listing reported in 2017, but well short of the 2,232 listings seen in 2007. December saw a 63.9 percent surge in new listings, though that represented a mere 2.6-month supply at the current pace of sales.
2018 ended with December home and condo sales off 36.5 percent and 21.1 percent, respectively, with 132 home and 71 condo closed escrows. Pending escrows, a measure of future sales activity, fell 40.6 percent to 165 open escrows.
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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