The median price of a new home in Santa Clarita rose 4.7 percent in September to $475,000 from $453,600 a month earlier – unchanged from $475,000 a year ago. But only nine homes closed escrow during September, a drop of 67 percent on the month and 53 percent year-over-year.
The SCV was at par in that regard with the rest of the county, where escrow closings dropped sharply, according to the local chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California.
New-home sales in September dropped from the previous month and from September 2010 in both Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the BIA reported Monday.
A total of 221 new homeowners took the keys to their new homes and condos during the month in L.A. County, according to sales totals compiled for the BIA by Hanley-Wood Market Intelligence. Costa Mesa-based HWMI tracks closings in new-home communities of 10 units or more.
September’s total was down from 286 the previous month and 341 a year ago, when state tax credits for purchasing a new home were still in effect and is the lowest monthly total since January, when 209 closings took place.
The most sales during the month took place in West Los Angeles (82), followed by the South Bay and San Gabriel Valley.
However, the countywide median price increased by 6 percent from the previous month to $381,900. That figure was down 16 percent from a year ago. And the average price per square foot in L.A. County rose slightly to $291 – almost exactly where it was in January.
Ventura County reported just 17 closings in September, and both median price and price per square foot fell month over month and year over year.
Holly Schroeder, CEO of the Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter, said the drop in closings is another sign of how shaky the nation’s economic recovery is and urged local governments throughout the region to work with the building community to make as many projects as possible financially feasible.
“The ongoing weakness in new-home construction is a major reason why the regional and state economies have not shown the kind of strong growth we typically see after a recession,” Schroeder said.
“Homebuilding is a big part of our economy and getting the industry back on its feet would go a long ways toward rebuilding our economy, reducing unemployment and generating tax revenues for state and local governments up and down the state.”
BIASC is a non-profit trade association representing 1,000 member companies in the housing industry, construction trades, and affiliated businesses throughout Southern California.