A total of 118 single-family homes and 54 condominiums closed escrow during January in the Santa Clarita Valley, median resale prices for both increased, and the supply of properties listed for sale posted a sharp decline, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
The 118 home sales represented a 14.6 percent increase over a year ago, which was 19 sales higher than the record low of 99 closed escrows in January 2008. For perspective, the record high monthly total of 405 home sales came in June 2005.
Similarly, while up 5.9 percent from a year ago, the 54 condominiums that changed owners last month came in closer to the record low of 31 sales in January 2008 than the record high of 204 condo sales in April 2003.
“Fueled by the lowest interest in three years, January sales kept up the momentum of the second half of last year,” said Louisa Henry, the 2020 Chair of the Santa Clarita Division of the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®.
“With rates now falling even lower and as we head toward the spring buying season, sales should be rising,” she said, “but the dearth of inventory keeps the market in check while pushing prices higher.”
The median price — which means half of January sales posted higher prices and half lower — came in at $616,000 for single-family homes. That was up 4.9 percent from a year ago and the eleventh consecutive month above the $600,000 benchmark.
The record-high median price for local homes of $643,000 set in April 2006 has not yet been broken.
After setting a record high in August and again in October at $420,000, the condominium median price during January was $389,000, up 8.1 percent from a year ago, yet 7.4 percent below the record.
“High prices and limited supply limit options for current buyers even as low rates offset some of the increase,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer.
“Buyers need to make sure their financial house is in order so that they’re ready to make an offer as soon as a property they like comes on the market,” he said. “With so few listings available, any hesitation typically means the property will be grabbed by another buyer.”
At the end of January, the Association reported 308 active listings, a drop of 44.0 percent from a year ago. At the current pace of sales, that represented a 1.8-month supply, well below the 4- to 5-month supply needed to give neither buyers nor sellers an advantage.
Nonetheless, the 308 listings total was an improvement from December when the total was a record low of 293.
Pending escrows — a measure of future activity — totaled 260, an increase of 24.4 percent from a year ago.
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.
– 30 –