With all nonessential businesses closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, sales of existing homes and condos in the Santa Clarita Valley plunged during May, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported on Wednesday, June 17.
A total of 111 single-family homes changed owners last month, down 54.5 percent from a year ago, though still above the record low of 99 sales set in January 2008 during the Great Recession.
Similarly, condominiums sales of 55 units were off 46.6 percent from a year ago May, though above the record low of 31 sales also reported in January 2008.
“REALTORS® worked hard to help buyers and sellers close escrow on transactions that were in the pipeline when the shutdown orders came in mid-March,” said Louisa Henry, the chair of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®. “They are working even harder now to help get the market moving again.
“I’m confident we’re on our way, even with all of the restrictions on showings of properties designed to keep people safe,” she said. “The need for housing is even more intense than before the pandemic, though we’re still limited by a very low inventory.”
There a mere 426 active listings at the end of May to serve the entire Santa Clarita Valley. That was down 32.4 percent from a year ago, yet it was the highest tally in seventh months, a stretch that included the record low listing total of 293 listings reported in December. For perspective, the record high of 2,630 listings was set in September 2006.
“When sales used to slow, the supply used to surge, with thousands of properties available to buyers,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer. “And when supply surged, prices softened. But the market is fundamentally different today — neither a surge in supply nor a softening of prices appear to be happening, at least not yet.”
The median price — meaning half the sales had higher prices and half had lower prices — of single-family homes that changed owners during May was $612,000. That was up 1.2 percent from a year ago and hovered well below the record high of $643,000 recorded in April 2006.
The condominium median price of $425,000 was 9.0 percent higher than May 2019 and set a new record, breaking the prior high of $420,000 reported in August and again in October 2019.
Pending sales suggests buyers and sellers were busy during May: There were 327 escrows opened during May, down only 13.0 percent.
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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