Santa Clarita Valley home prices continued their steady climb in October – and condos are red hot.
The typical single-family SCV home changed hands for $440,000 last month, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. That’s a 2.3-percent improvement over September and, importantly, a 22.2 percent improvement over October 2012’s median price of $360,000.
Meanwhile, the average pre-owned condominium sold for $280,000 in October, up 1.8 percent on the month and a full 40 percent on the year. The median October 2012 price was $200,000.
Sales volume is up, as well, particularly for condominiums. A total of 105 closed escrow in October, versus 100 in September and 83 in October 2012.
“It was the seventh consecutive month condominium sales came in above the 100 mark. Only twice since October 2005 had the total exceeded 100 until the run began this April,” the Realtor group said in a statement.
“The lesson condo buyers illustrate should encourage all prospective buyers to get moving,” said Bob Khalsa, president of the association’s SCV Division. He said it sounds cliché, but it’s true: “There’s no time to buy like now. Interest rates are low, but likely to rise; waiting assures only higher property taxes; prices are steadily moving higher; and competition will heat up again in the Spring.”
Khalsa said there’s still room for upward movement in condo prices.
“The magic number is $335,000,” he said. “This number really matters because it’s what entry-level buyers can actually afford. Luckily, there are still condos throughout the Santa Clarita Valley at and below that number.”
Association CEO Jim Link said the market is reflecting more stability now that most of the recession-induced foreclosures have run their course.
“With fewer investors in the market and distressed properties evaporating, that clears the way for traditional buyers and sellers, neither of whom have a particular advantage at this juncture, even with the tight inventory.”
Foreclosures hit pre-recession levels at just 3.9 percent of closed escrows, while short sales (where the bank agrees to a sale for less than the outstanding amount on the loan) increased slightly over September levels, to 15.8 percent of closings.
Inventory was up, with 554 active listings on SRAR’s Multiple Listing Service at month-end, but “up” is relative. It’s up to a 2-month supply of homes, at the current pace of sales; a 6-month supply is said to reflect a balanced market.