Limited supply and a lack of bargain properties drove median Santa Clarita Valley home prices higher in January.
The typical single-family home sold for $432,900 in January, compared to $360,000 during each of the two previous Januaries.
Meanwhile, the typical condominium sold for $250,000, up from $206,700 in January 2013 and $184,500 in January 2012.
House and condo prices fell slightly on the month. Condo prices peaked locally in July at $300,000 while single-family home prices peaked in August at $450,000.
Notably, there was little on the market to choose from; just 138 houses and 63 condos changed hands in January, down about 40 percent from December, and of those, only nine (4.4 percent) were foreclosure sales and 24 (11.8 percent) were short sales. A year earlier there were 34 foreclosure sales and 74 short sales.
“Today’s market is dramatically different from even mid-2013,” said Nancy Starczyk, president of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors’ SCV Division. “There are only seven homes currently listed that are priced under $350,000. Buyers will find more condos and townhomes for sale, yet the total inventory is pretty bare bones.”
Starczyk said rising resale prices have pushed thousands of owners into a positive equity position after being underwater for years, but going forward, the increases will likely be at a more moderate pace.
The 496 active listings on SRAR’s Multiple Listing Service at the end of January represented a 52.6-percent increase over December, but that’s “a deceptive increase,” association officials said, “because it was coming up off record low listing totals. At the current pace of sales, the inventory represents a 2.4-month supply. To hit the desired 6-month supply, the region would need 1,220 active listings.”
“We saw a big run-up in prices last year when there were distressed sales, bargains and more listings,” said Jim Link, the association’s CEO. “We’re optimistic about what the Spring holds, yet it’s important for buyers to understand that lenders are keeping a tighter lid on loans, which impacts prices. The funny money is gone. Now lenders are being more diligent; they want to make sure every buyer actually can afford the home they want to buy.”