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January 18
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]


The condominium median price in the Santa Clarita Valley registered a record-high of $415,000 during June, up 6.4 percent from a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.

It broke the prior record of $410,000 that was set in April 2018 and again this April.

Single-family homes sold during June had a median pricing —meaning half sold for less and half for more — of $605,000. That was 0.8 percent below a year ago and lower than $615,000 median reported in May 2018, which is the highest in this real estate boom cycle.

The record high single-family median price of $643,000 set in April 2006 has yet to be surpassed.

“Somehow prices keep getting pushed higher, although we’re at the point where the pool of buyers who can afford these prices keeps getting smaller and smaller,” said Amanda Etcheverry, the 2019 chair of the Santa Clarita Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “The inventory continues to expand, but at a much slower pace and not nearly fast enough or large enough to ease pressure off prices.”

Even with low-interest rates, rising prices and a tight inventory translate to fewer sales, she said.

A total of 237 single-family homes changed owners during June. That was down 41 sales or 14.7 percent from a year ago and followed two consecutive months of sales gains.

Realtors also assisted 73 condominium closed escrows, a number that was 29.1 percent lower than a year ago.

“Low-interest rates continue to fuel buyer interest and demand, stretching housing dollars farther,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer, “yet low-interest rates also enable sellers to boost their asking price. Bottom line, for now, is that an increase in active inventory may be the best way to neutralize or slow price hikes, yet listing gains now are coming in slow motion.”

Inventory came close to a record low in December 2017 and has been trending upward since, though the pace of increases has slowed dramatically this year, opening in January with a 58.5 percent increase over the prior year, then steadily falling to June’s supply increase of 8.4 percent.

At the end of June, there were 656 active listings, which represented a 2.1-month supply at the current pace of sales. A 5-month supply is regarded as an indicator of a market favoring neither buyers nor sellers.

Pending escrows, a measure of future activity, numbered 341 at the end of June, up 3.6 percent from the prior year.

Not surprisingly, of the 310 home and condo sales in June, 98.4 percent were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers.

There were zero distressed condominium sales during June and only two foreclosure-related home sales and one home short sale, where the lender agrees to a purchase price lower than an outstanding loan balance.

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.

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