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September 24
1855 - Sanford & Cyrus Lyon establish Lyon's Station (for stagecoaches) near today's Sierra Hwy & Newhall Ave [story]
Sanford Lyon


Even with home prices at the highest level in nine years, sales of single-family homes during May throughout the Santa Clarita Valley increased 26.0 percent, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.

The 252 single-family homes that changed owners last month also were 18.9 percent higher than this April’s tally. That was three sales shy of the high point since the recession of 255 closed escrows reported in June 2015, a number not surpassed since
October 2005.

“Real estate is strong here in Santa Clarita,” said M. Dean Vincent, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “There are 10 or 15 people coming through the door of every listing eager and ready to buy. If you’re an owner whose property is not selling, something is wrong or the list price is too high.”

Vincent said Santa Clarita is a regionwide draw because “the quality of life here cannot be touched elsewhere for the same price.”

The median price of homes sold last month was $550,000, up 3.8 percent over a year ago and 2.2 percent ahead of this April. The May median price was the highest since October 2007, though still short of the $643,000 record high median price posted in April 2006.

Similarly, the condominium median price of $349,500 was up 11.0 percent over a year ago and less than 1 percent higher than this May. However, it was the highest condo median price since September 2007. The record high of $397,000 came in January 2006.

“Santa Clarita is one of the pockets throughout California that outperform surrounding regions,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “The schools are a draw and buyers get more house and property for their money.”

Open escrows — a measure of future resale activity — were up 7.8 percent over a year ago to a total of 402 pending transactions. Like many other regions, however, Santa Clarita also has a limited inventory of homes listed for sale. There were 506 homes and condominiums available on the Association operated Multiple Listing Service at the end of May. That was down 20.1 percent from a year ago.

At the current pace of sales, those 506 listings represent a 1.4-month supply, down from a 2.0-month inventory of May 2015. In earlier markets a supply of 6 months was considered normal, yet with people staying in homes longer, local buyers would rejoice if they had access to a 3-month inventory.

Distressed sales, once a mainstay of the market and source of ready listings, continue to fall off the chart. Realtors assisted a total of 16 distressed sales last month — six foreclosure-related transactions for a 1.7 percent market share and 10 short sales or 2.8 percent of the total combined residential sales total. Standard sales, involving traditional buyers and sellers, accounted for 337 transactions or 95.5 percent of the market.

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