The median price of single-family homes sold during October in the San Fernando Valley hit a record high $755,000, up 11.4 percent from a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported on Friday, Nov. 22.
It handily beat the prior record of $735,000 set in July and marked the fifth consecutive month with the median price above the once impenetrable benchmark of $700,000.
The condominium median price for October was $435,000, which was down 1.1 percent from a year ago and 4.4 percent below the record high condo price of $455,000 posted in June and again in August.
The median price is the midpoint of all sales, with half the sales posting a higher price and half lower.
“There’s plenty of buyer resistance to higher prices, but truly motivated buyers understand that opportunities to buy are limited,” said Dan Tresierras, president of the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®. “Interest rates that are at their lowest point in three years help offset some of the impact of high prices, but we’re once again starting to see a dwindling supply of properties for sale.”
From August 2018 through May the inventory grew sometimes by more than 40 percent per month. But in June that trend reversed.
October was the fifth consecutive monthly drop in the number of homes listed for sale on the Association-operated Multiple Listing Service. The 1,100 active listings at the end of the month were down 31.3 percent from a year ago and represented a mere 1.7-month supply at the current pace of sales. For comparison, the 33-year average was a 6.0-month supply.
The October inventory total was closer to the record low of 819 listings reported in December 2017 than the record high 14,976 listings in July 1992.
“Owners who in generations past would have been selling, now are refinancing or remodeling,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer. “People are locked out of the market or locked in place by California’s severe housing shortage.”
Yet even with those limitations, the 462 homes and 167 condominiums that changed owners during October represented a 2.2 percent and 22.8 percent increase from a year ago.
Pending escrows, a measure of future market activity, came in at 657 open escrows at the end of October. That was up 4.0 percent from October 2018.
Given current market realities, the Association reported few distressed sales. Of the total 629 properties that changed owners, 97.5 percent were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers.
Five single-family homes and one condominium transaction were foreclosure related, for a 1.0 percent share of the total, while one condominium sold via a short sale, where the lender agreed to a sale 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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