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September 19
1863 - Gen. Edward F. Beale loans money to A.A. Hudson and Oliver P. Robbins to erect toll house in Newhall Pass [story]


It was the worst October in nine years for single-family home prices across the Santa Clarita Valley, while condominium prices sank below last month’s nine-year low, according to data released Wednesday by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

The median price of a pre-owned, single-family home sold in October was $364,000, up from September’s $360,000 but off 6.7 percent from October 2010.

Median condo prices sank to $186,900 in October from $195,000 one month earlier, down a staggering  21.8 percent on the year.

Home sales volume improved in October, suggesting home sellers are either acquiescing to the depressed market or are forced to sell in spite of it.

The number of existing homes sold in October increased 7.3 percent on the month and 22.2 percent on the year, while 28.8 percent more condos sold in October than in September, up 14.9 percent on the year.

Realtors point to the opportunities available in this buyers’ market where interest rates hover around 4 percent and FHA-insured mortgages require small down payments.

“The people active in today’s market understand the scope of the opportunity,” said Sal Aranda, president of SRAR’s Santa Clarita Valley division. “Homes are incredibly affordable and interest rates on home loan have not been this low in decades.”

Jim Link, SRAR’s chief executive officer, said: Until government does something definitively to help housing, the market will improve only slowly, and people will sit on the sidelines, which is too bad because some will miss the best opportunity to buy a home in a generation.”

As of Oct. 31, there were 1,106 properties listed for sale in the SCV (including Acton), down 14.5 percent on the year, representing a 4.2-month supply, down from 5.9 months in October 2010. Realtors say a five- to six-month supply indicates a healthy market.

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