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November 19
2003 - U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon introduces the first of several bills intended to block the 78-million-ton Cemex gravel mine in Soledad Canyon [story]


A total of 205 single-family homes and 93 condominiums changed owners during October throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported today.

The 205 home sales were up 7.3 percent over a year ago and, following seasonal patterns, fell 2.4 percent from this September. Except for January and February, every month this year has come in above the 200-sale benchmark with the peak being 255 home sales in July.

The 93 condominium sales were down 10.6 percent from a year ago and off 8.8 percent from September. Until last month, the monthly totals exceeded 100 sales for five consecutive months, with the 121 closed escrows of August the highest this year and the highest since December 2012.

“Santa Clarita is a highly desirable community for home buyers making it likely home buying activity will remain busy even as the holidays approach and sales taper off elsewhere around the state,” said Bob Khalsa, president of the Santa Clarita Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “The biggest limitations currently are the limited inventory and rising concerns regarding affordability, even with the ongoing availability of very low interest rates on home loans.”

The median price of homes sold last month was $500,000, up 9.4 percent over a year ago, yet off 2.9 percent from this September. It marked the eighth consecutive month the median came in above $500,000. The median appears to have peaked in May when the median resale price hit $530,000, which was the highest since October 2007.

The condominium median price of $315,000 was up 9.0 percent from October 2014, yet fell 3.1 percent compared to this September. Every month except April this year has been above the $300,000 benchmark, with the highest condominium median coming in at $330,000 in July.

“Demand remains healthy, but what we need now are more active listings, particularly in entry level and mid-range price categories,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer.

The total active inventory of 595 listings was down 3.4 percent from a year ago. At the current pace of sales, the inventory represents a 2.0-month supply. A 6-month supply would bring balance to the market.

There were 306 open escrows—a measure of future sales activity— at the end of October. That was down 5.6 percent from the 324 pending sales reported in October 2014.

Of the combined residential sales total of 298 sales, 93.3 percent were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers. Short payoffs, where a lender agrees to a sale price lower than the home’s outstanding loan balance, accounted for 3.4 percent of the transactions, while foreclosure-related REO sales held a mere 2.3 percent market share.

The Southland Regional Association of Realtors® is a local trade association with more than 9,100 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.




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