While still a sellers’ market, the inventory of homes and condos listed for sale in the Santa Clarita Valley increased for the third consecutive month, rising to its highest level since September 2014, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Monday.
The MLS operated by the Association had 699 active home and condominium listings at the end of August, an increase of 31.1 percent over a year ago for the third consecutive double-digit monthly increase.
It’s been 47 months since the inventory was larger. The increases followed consecutive monthly declines beginning in December 2015 that went unbroken until January of this year.
Even with the increase, the active inventory represented a 2.1-month supply at the current pace of sales, well short of the desired 5-month supply that would put buyers and sellers on equal footing.
“Santa Clarita’s strong local economy and desired lifestyle insulated the local market from some of the forces in play throughout California,” said M. Dean Vincent, chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “Home prices never broke the record high set last decade and sales remained mixed even as inventory dropped.
“What’s clear now is that the market is morphing, changing, as more listings combined with affordability issues give buyers a few bargaining tools,” he said. “We’re a long way from a buyers’ market, but anything that eases pressure off prices is welcome news.”
The median price of homes that closed escrow during August in Santa Clarita was $605,000. That was up 10.5 percent from a year ago yet 5.9 percent below the record high of $643,000 set in April 2006.
The condominium record high of $410,000 was set in April of this year, but each month since has hovered below that mark. The condo median price for August came in at $399,000, though still up 10.8 percent over a year ago.
“A continued increase in active listings combined with slower sales and affordability limits make the market feel like it’s in transition,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer. “If those trends continue, buyers—even buyers with traditional financing and not all-cash offers—may have a fair shot at owning a home, while sellers may have to moderate their asking price.”
For the first seven months of 2018, home sales are down 5.7 percent while condo sales are 14.4 percent below year-ago levels.
A total of 219 single-family homes closed escrow last month, down 16.4 percent from a year ago.
Realtors also assisted in the close of escrow on 116 condominiums. That was up 27.5 percent from 12 months ago and was the highest monthly total since July 2017.
Not surprisingly, the strong sellers’ market has yielded few distress sales. There was only one single-family home foreclosure-related transaction last month, no short sales, and no condominium foreclosure-related or short sales.
The Southland Regional Association of Realtors is a local trade association with more than 10,300 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.