Following an unusually slow February, sales of existing homes and condominiums throughout the Santa Clarita Valley picked up dramatically during March, with home sales up 44.8 percent and condo closed escrows 54.7 percent higher, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Tuesday.
However, the 166 homes and 82 condominiums that changed owners were down from year ago tallies, off 9.7 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.
“Part of the month-to-month increase was seasonal, with March typically busy as the homebuying season gets underway,” said Amanda Etcheverry, chair of the Association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division. “And, this March we saw the lowest interest on home loans in over a year, which gave some buyers a shot of confidence and convinced them to close the sale.”
March also marked the tenth consecutive monthly increase in the number of properties listed for sale throughout Santa Clarita, the Association reported.
At the end of the month there were 559 active home and condominium listings. That was up 48.3 percent from a year ago. For two-and-a-half years the local supply of active listings fell lower every month, but beginning in June 2018 the inventory started growing by double-digit numbers compared to the prior year.
Yet even with relatively tepid sales and buyer resistance to rising prices, the inventory represented a mere 2.2-month supply. That was up from the 1.4-month supply of March 2018, but well short of historical records and the 5-month supply needed to put buyers and sellers on equal footing.
The median price of single-family homes that changed owners last month was $614,000. That was up 5.2 percent from a year ago, but 4.5 percent below the record high $643,000 set in April 2006.
The condominium median price of $375,000 was down 2.6 percent from March 2018 and up 1.4 percent from February.
“Resale prices have been softening in recent months after soaring ever higher for years,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer. “Now, some sellers are having to lower their expectations in the face of slowly growing inventories and rising buyer resistance to high prices.
“It’s interesting that prices continue to rise even as the inventory slowly expands and some buyers balk at high price increases,” Johnson said. “However, today’s price hikes are in the low single-digit range, an increase driven in large measure by the critical shortage of housing throughout Southern California communities and in virtually all price ranges.”
Pending escrows, a measure of future sales activity, totaled 343 at the end of March. That was down 3.4 percent from a year ago.
Of the combined 250 home and condominium transactions closed last month, 97.6 percent were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers. Three home transactions were foreclosure related and one was a short sale, where the lenders agrees to a sale price less than the outstanding loan balance. For the second consecutive month, there were zero distressed condominium sales during March.
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.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed the first death due to the West Nile virus for the 2021 season in Los Angeles County. The patient, a resident of the eastern region of Los Angeles County, was hospitalized and died from WNV-associated neuro-invasive disease.
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 25 new deaths and 1,823 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 35,090 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley. Additionally, Public Health announced that the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order will be modified today to require vaccination verification or a negative test prior to entry to all mega-events and event venues by Oct. 7.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance Wednesday that would require developers of various types of residential, commercial and industrial projects to provide public art in private developments in the amount of 1% of the building valuation or pay 1% of the building valuation toward a public art fund.
The Santa Clarita City Council received a brief report Tuesday about Camps Scott and Scudder, two Saugus facilities recommended by the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council’s Juvenile Justice Realignment Block Grant Ad-Hoc Subcommittee in May to become the new homes of violent juvenile offenders in Los Angeles County.
During Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 19 through 25, the California Highway Patrol will educate the public on the importance of ensuring children are riding in a properly fitted and installed child passenger safety seat.
The atmosphere on the outdoor patio of the Holiday Inn Express in Valencia was fun and lively during the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Latino Business Alliance’s Hispanic Heritage Month event Wednesday evening.
In the same week Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials said they’ll be expanding the limitations on deputies drawing their AR-15’s in the field, some Santa Clarita Valley activists said they still want to see more changes to law enforcement policy
Officials from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported two additional deaths Thursday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 165 since the onset of the pandemic, hospital spokesman Patrick Moody confirmed.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger has read a motion to accept a portion of Sloan Canyon Road near Castaic High School into the county system of highways in an effort to ensure roadway safety and prevent future crashes.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Station deputies are looking for the scoop after multiple Baskin- Robbins ice cream shops were burglarized overnight Tuesday, including two locations in the Santa Clarita Valley.