Sales throughout the Santa Clarita Valley during May of existing single-family homes rose for the second consecutive month compared to a year ago while the selection of properties available to buyers posted its 12thconsecutive monthly gain, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported on Thursday, June 20.
Local REALTORS® helped close escrow on 244 homes, up 18 sales compared to May 2018 and 30 sales or 14.0 percent higher than this April’s tally. It was the second year-to-year increase in five months and only the third uptick since January 2018.
REALTORS® also assisted on 103 condominium transactions, down 1.9 percent from May 2018.
“A gradually improving inventory combined with the lowest interest rates on home loans in 18 months brought more buyers into the local home market,” said Amanda Etcheverry, the 2019 chair of the Association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division.
“Any increase in supply is welcome news,” she said, “yet we’re still well short of what is needed to satisfy existing buyer demand.”
The Association reported 630 active home and condominium listings at the end of May, which was up 34.0 percent from a year ago. Each month since June 2018 has posted double-digit increases in the inventory with December and January reporting gains of 63.9 percent and 58.5 percent respectively.
“That’s wonderful and sounds like a lot,” Etcheverry said, “yet the increase are coming off extremely low totals.”
That’s why, despite the 34.0 percent increase in inventory, the 630 active listingsrepresented a mere 1.8-month supply at the current pace of sales. Historically, the 11-year annual average inventory was a 3.9-month supply, which would put buyers and sellers on more equal footing and ease upward pressure on resale prices.
The median price of the 244 homes that changed owners came in at $605,000, down 1.6 percent from a year ago and 5.9 percent below the record high $643,000 median reported in April 2006.
Similarly, half of the 103 condominiums that closed escrow were below and half higher than the median price of $390,000. That was down 3.5 percent from May 2018 and off 4.9 percent from the record high $410,000 set April 2018 and again this April.
“Resale prices have been bouncing around below record highs,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer. “Low rates brought out more buyer, which kept some upward pressure on prices, yet sellers do not have much room for further price hikes as the pool of buyers continues to shrink as affordability becomes a limiting issue.”
There were 376 pending transactions — a measure of future activity — at the end of May. That was down 5.8 percent from a year ago.
Of the 347 combined home and condominium sales during May 98.3 percent were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers. There were two foreclosure-related home transactions, representing 0.8 percent of the total, and three short sales, for a 0.9 percent share of activity.
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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