Santa Clarita Valley home prices returned to pre-recession levels in August as the typical previously owned single-family home changed hands for $450,000. The figure was last seen in August 2008.
Condominium prices slipped slightly to $295,000 in August from their 5-year high of $300,000 set in July.
More condos were sold in August, however (129). In fact, the last time that many condos closed escrow was April 2006.
“As prices rise, and with last month’s slight uptick in interest rates, buyers focused heavily on properly priced, entry-level properties,” said Bob Khalsa, president of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors’ SCV Division. “That’s one reason why condo sales picked up during August.”
On the flip side, only 176 single-family homes closed escrow in August. That’s the slowest August for single-family home sales since August 1997.
But there are some reasons for Realtors to be optimistic.
For one thing, the number of traditional sales vs. foreclosures continues to improve. As recently as November 2012, short sales – bank approved sales for an amount that’s “short” of what is owed on the loan – accounted for 47.9 percent of all sales in the SCV. Turn up the clock to August, and short sales represent just 18.7 percent of the total. Standard sales comprised 77 percent of the market, while REOs (foreclosures) represented just 4.3 percent.
Also, more inventory appears to be one the way. Active listings on SRAR’s Multiple Listing Service stood at 517 (379 single-family, 138 condos) as of Aug. 31. That’s still only a 1.7-month supply of homes – a five- to six-month supply is reflective of a healthy market – but it was the second consecutive monthly increase.