The number of active listings of homes and condominiums for sale in the Santa Clarita Valley rose in October 2018 for the fifth consecutive month while sales slowed and resale prices continued to move higher, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Monday.
There were 655 active listings at the end of the month, an increase of 36.5 percent over a year ago. From January 2015 through May of this year the inventory had posted declines, with the only one exception.
“To have five consecutive months post increases in supply suggests owners believe prices may have peaked and now is a good time to sell,” said M. Dean Vincent, chairman of SRAR’s Santa Clarita Division.
“Demand for housing remains high, but any increase in inventory will ease upward pressure on prices,” he said. “That’s especially important today because prices have risen high enough that the pool of people who can afford to buy is shrinking,” Vincent said. “Sellers will have to be aware of the shifting market dynamics even as they seek the best price possible for their property.”
The October inventory represented a 2.6-month supply at the current pace of sales, which was a definite improvement from a year ago when the 480 active listings represented a 1.6-month supply.
Association statistics place the average supply over the last 11 years at a 3.7-month inventory.
“Buyers certainly gain a bit more leverage as the inventory grows,” said Tim Johnston, the Association’s chief executive officer. “Yet it remains a sellers’ market even as buyers have more choices and can argue for concessions or price reductions.”
The median price of single-family homes that changed owners last month came in at $595,000, up 2.6 percent from a year ago. The monthly median has posted higher than the prior year virtually every month since prices hit bottom at $340,000 in November and December 2011.
However, unlike most other Southern California communities, the local median price has yet to surpass the record high of $643,000 set in April 2006.
The median price of condominiums sold last month was $399,900, up 12.8 percent from a year ago October, but 2.5 percent below the record high $410,000 established this April.
Realtors assisted 175 single-family home sales last month, down 10.3 percent from October 2017, and 73 condominiums, down 27.7 percent.
“There are still plenty of buyers out there, yet rising interest rates and rising prices make it more difficult to buy,” Johnson said. “Declining sales also typically occur around this time of year as holidays and the end of the year draw closer.”
Of the combined 248 home and condo sales last month, there was only one distressed sale reported: a condominium that was purchased using a short sale, where the lender agrees to a purchase price lower than the balance of the existing loan.
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.