[SRAR] – Realtors helped closed escrows on 228 single-family homes throughout Santa Clarita during September, a solid number for the month and 8.6 percent higher than a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Monday.
The highest sales total for this year was posted in June with 265 closed escrows.
A total of 96 condominiums also closed escrows, down 5.9 percent from September 2015 but — following a more typical seasonal pattern — up 2.1 percent from this August. The high point for the year arrived in June when 127 condominiums changed owners, which was the highest monthly total since August 2013.
“Listing of homes for sale continue to shrink even in the face of solid demand,” said M. Dean Vincent, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “This is especially true for buyers hunting in the lower, entry-level price ranges. There’s not much available.
“It’s a challenge and can be frustrating for everyone involved — home buyers, sellers, Realtors, and related service providers,” he said. “You really need skill and experience to succeed in this market, while paying attention to every detail, every deadline, at every step of the process.”
Vincent also noted that the real estate market is cyclical and that after six consecutive years of appreciation, which, at a minimum, will mean price increases and sale may slow.
“Couple that with the fact that owners who have lived in their property for many years may have equity,” he said, “but moving, even to a smaller property, may trigger higher property taxes, which discourages them from selling.”
The median price of single-family homes that changed owners during September came in at $525,000, up 1.9 percent from September 2015 and 0.4 percent higher than this August.
June’s median price of $575,00 was the high point of the year and the best since June 2007. The record high home median price of $643,000 was set in April 2006. This August’s median was 18.4 percent below that record.
The condominium median price of $372,000 was up 14.5 percent over a year ago and 12.4 percent ahead of August. The highest condo median reported since the market downturn of last decade came in May with a median price of $349,500. The August condo median was 6.3 percent below the record high of $397,000 set in January 2006.
“It’s frustrating for buyers and Realtors alike to have so many folks wanting to buy a home yet so few properties listed for sale,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “It’s looking like 2016 sales totals will come in below 2015 levels, which is surprising given the consistent demand.”
The Association reported a total of 643 active listings throughout the Santa Clarita Valley at the end of the month. That was down 3.7 percent from 12 months ago.
At the current pace of sales, the inventory represents a low 2.0-month supply, which was identical to a year ago September.
Pending escrows, a measure of future sales activity, declined compared to a year ago by 11.2 percent with 324 open escrows reported at the end of September.
The Southland Regional Association of Realtors® is a local trade association with more than 9,500 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.