Escrow closed on 217 single-family homes in Santa Clarita during September, down 4.8 percent from a year ago, the Southland Regional Association reported Tuesday.
While partly seasonal, the month-to-month drop from August of 17.2 percent was particularly pronounced because sales had spiked higher in August with 262 sales. And, sales hit a peak this year in June when 307 escrows closed — the first time more than 300 changed owners in a single month since September 2005.
Condominium sales during September were unchanged from a year ago with 96 units changing owners, but increased 5.5 percent from this August.
Marty Kovacs, chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, noted that with the market tightening additional homes could have sold if only owners had updated their property.
“Sellers would be wise to understand that they need to adopt new strategies as the pool of prospective buyers shrinks due to rising prices,” Kovacs said. “People who decide to sell their home need to take an honest look at the condition of their property.”
Kovacs said that in his experience he sees well-priced homes that would have sold if only the owner had updated the property.
“It’s invaluable information a seller must listen to when a buyer’s Realtor tells the seller that their client was interested, but didn’t make an offer because of needed improvements,” Kovacs said, “and then they went on to purchase a comparable property that did have the upgrades.”
The inventory is limited and prices are high, Kovacs said, yet those two realities do not necessarily translate into a quick sale at a perfect price or higher.
The median price of homes that did close escrow last month was $585,000, up 11.4 percent, or $60,000, over a year ago and 1.8 percent higher than this August. The median was 9.0 percent below the record high $643,000 set in April 2006. The highest median price since the recession was this June’s at $586,000.
The 96 condominiums that closed escrow during September had a median price of $360,000. That was down 3.2 percent from September 2016 and unchanged from this August. The September condo median price was 9.3 percent below the record high of $397,000 established in January 2006. The high point for condo prices since the recovery of the housing market began came with the $370,000 median this May and again in June.
The Association reported 538 active listings, down 16.3 percent from a year ago. That represents a 1.7-month supply at the current pace of sales, well below the nine-year average monthly listing of a 4.9-month backlog.
Of the 313 combined residential transactions reported to the Association in August, 301 or 96.2 percent were standard sales. There were a total of four foreclosure-related transactions, for a 1.3 percent share of the market, and seven short sales, a 2.2 percent market share of total transactions.
The Southland Regional Association of Realtors is a local trade association with more than 9,800 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.