Realtors helped close escrows on 203 single-family homes and 95 condominiums throughout Santa Clarita during October, with the condo total up 2.2 percent over a year ago and home sales off 1.0 percent, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported today.
Home sales peaked this year with 265 closed escrows and 177 condominium sales, with both coming in June, which traditionally is in busiest time of year for residential real estate.
“The October sales totals were relatively strong even as seasonal forces emerged that see sales taper off toward the end of each year,” said M. Dean Vincent, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “That’s especially true as resale prices continue to climb, bumping into buyer resistance and affordability issues for growing numbers of buyers.”
The median price of homes sold last month was $548,000, up 9.6 percent over a year ago and 4.4 percent higher than this September.
The highest home median price so far this year came in June at $575,000. A higher median had not been seen since June 2007. For perspective, the September median was 14.8 percent below the record high of $643,000, which was set in April 2006.
The condominium median price of $327,000 was up 3.8 percent over a year ago, but dipped 12.1 percent from September.
The condo median price high since the market downturn of last decade came in May with a median price of $349,500. The October condo median was 17.6 percent below the record high of $397,000 set in January 2006.
“The underlying fact limiting the market is an inadequate supply of homes needed to satisfy demand,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “More listings over the last several years would have lessened demand and tempered price increases, but sales are more difficult to complete now as fewer people can afford rising prices.
“The affordability brake on higher prices is a logical outcome,” he said, “though it means there will be even more pent-up demand and too many frustrated prospective homebuyers.”
There were 577 active listings throughout the Santa Clarita Valley at the end of October. That was down 3.0 percent from October 2015 and represented a mere 1.9-month supply at the current pace of sales, a drop from the 2.0-month supply of a year ago. It used to be that a 6-month supply would yield a balanced market, but a 3-month supply would be welcome under current market conditions.
Pending escrows — a measure of future sales activity — remained relatively robust at the end of October with the 309 open escrows up 1.0 percent compared to 12 months ago.
Distressed sales represent an insignificant share of the local market. Foreclosure related and short payoff sales each totaled four for an identical 1.3 percent market share. The 289 combined residential standard sales, involving traditional buyers and sellers, captured 97.0 percent of local residential real estate activity.