A lack of inventory and lender delays in processing transactions yielded an 11.8 percent drop in home sales during June throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported today.
While the 202 closed escrows were up 3.1 percent from the May tally, June was the second consecutive month that sales dropped from year ago levels after 13 months of gains.
Condominium sales, however, increased 18.7 percent over June 2008 with 89 closed escrows reported. The condo tally also was 30.9 percent higher than the figure reported this May.
"Buyers are out there, but there simply are not enough properties listed for sale to satisfy demand," said Nancy Starczyk, president of the Association's Santa Clariata Valley Division. "Plus, lenders are hesitant to write home loans and continue to be slow in deciding if they will accept offers on short sales."
There were 891 active listings throughout the Santa Clarita Valley at the end of June. That was down 51.6 percent from a year ago and represents a mere 3.1-month supply at the current pace of sales. A year ago June there was a 6.1-month supply. A balanced market occurs when the inventory is in the range of a 5- to 6-month supply.
"With a diminishing inventory of existing homes for sale and little new construction available, there simply are not enough properties to satisfy today's expanding demand," said Jim Link, chief executive officer of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. "Prices appear to have hit bottom, but the lack of inventory is a drag on the market's recovery."
The median price of the 202 single-family homes that changed owners last month was $410,000, down 8.9 percent from a year ago, but up 2.5 percent from this May. The pace of annual declines has been falling into the single-digit range as multiple offers on many properties have, in many instances, yielded a final price that was higher than the asking price.
The condominium median price of $232,500 was down 18.4 percent from a year ago and off 3.1 percent compared to this May.
"There are promising signs all over, but there is still no true recovery taking yet here in the Santa Clarita Valley," Starczyk said.
Pending escrows – a measure of future resale activity – increased 28.1 percent with 474 escrows open at the end of June. That compares to the 370 pending sales reported 12 months ago.
The Southland Regional Association of Realtors is a local trade association comprised of more than 10,000 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.