For the second consecutive month, the median price of homes that closed escrow throughout the San Fernando Valley during July set a record high at $735,000, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported on Tuesday, Aug. 20.
The median was up 6.4 percent from a year ago, beating the prior record of $722,000 set in June, and was only the second time ever that the local median — which means half the homes sold for more and half for less — exceeded the benchmark of $700,000.
The July median was dramatically higher — up 116.8 percent — from the low point that came in the wake of last decade’s Great Recession.
“After peaking at $655,000 in June 2007 following years of an out-of-control boom market, the median home price plunged to $339,000 in December 2011,” said Dan Tresierras, president of the Association. “The home median price didn’t hit the $600,000 range again until 2016 and now, in a more stable if inventory-challenged market, has entered unchartedterritory.
“No doubt about it, today’s prices are wonderful for sellers yet pose an affordability challenge to too many buyers,” Tresierras said.
The condominium median price set a record high in June at $455,000, but in July came in at $450,000, off 1.1 percent from the high, though still up slightly from a year ago.
Sales of both homes and condominiums fell with homes off 7.7 percent and condos down 2.5 percent from year ago tallies. REALTORS® assisted 478 single-family home and 155 condominium transactions in July.
“Interest rates on home loans recently dipped even lower than in recent months and now hover at levels not seen in many years,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer. “Lower rates give buyers greater buying power that can offset the impact of higher prices.
“However,” he said, “the lack of inventory limits buyer options and keeps upward pressure on prices.”
At the end of July there were 1,309 active listings of homes and condominiums throughout the San Fernando Valley. That was down 5.7 percent from a year ago and was the second consecutive monthly drop after nearly a year of consecutive, if modest, gains in the number of properties listed for sale.
At the current pace of sales, the inventory represented a 2.1-month supply, which tilts the market in favor of sellers. The inventory total was closer to the record low 819 listings of December 2017 than to the record high 14,976 listings reported in July 1992.
Pending escrows — a measure of future sales activity — totaled 727 properties, which was up 0.7 percent from a year ago July.
Distressed sales have virtually disappeared in today’s inventory starved market. Only four properties changed hands via a foreclosure sale while three properties, two homes and one condo, went to new owners via a short sale, where the lender agrees to a purchase price less than the outstanding balance of the existing loan.
Fully 97.6 percent of the 633 homes and condos sold were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers.
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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