San Fernando Valley home sales were slow in September, according to two separate reports released Tuesday.
The median home price gained about 5 percent to $549,000, according to a report from the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at Cal State Northridge.
Last month, 1,182 homes were sold, down nearly 11 percent from the same month last year, the report found. In fact, Valley year-over-year sales have declined for the past 12 months, as rising prices have pushed some potential buyers out of the market, the report said.
“This year has been one of consistently slow home sales and we are seeing a further slow down as we move in the end of the year,” said research center Director Bill Roberts, in a statement.
In a separate report, another group reported a median price of $535,000 for the San Fernando Valley.
The Southland Regional Association of Realtors said a total of a total of 491 single-family homes changed owners in September, down 2.6 percent from a year ago. In addition, only 166 condos closed escrow, down 17 percent from the same month last year.
“We’re seeing a cooler, more balanced market where buyer and seller expectations are more aligned,” said Roger Hance, president of the Association, in a statement. “Yet the market clearly would be more active if lending rules hit a better balance so that truly qualified buyers didn’t have to jump nearly impossible hurdles to land a loan.”
There were 1,852 active listings at the end of September, up 10.8 percent from a year ago. It was the 13th consecutive month of double-digit increases in the inventory, although September’s gain was the smallest to date. Even with the increase in active listings, at the current pace of sales the inventory
represents a 2.8 month supply, well short of the desired 6-month supply that represents a balanced market.
However, rising prices are beginning to stabilize after gaining significantly since June 2012. And the $549,000 median was still well below the May 2007 peak of $660,000 during the housing boom.
In the Santa Clarita Valley, prices have risen substantially over the past year in the Santa Clarita Valley. Median home prices jumped more than 9 percent from last September to $490,000. That price was flat from August. Realtors in that area say inventory rose nearly 38 percent from the same month last year to 539 active listings, which is a 2.5 month supply.
Nancy Starczyk, president of the Santa Clarita Valley division of the association, said the market is in a much healthier position.
“The market is much more balanced now that investors have largely retreated, with
foreclosure-related sales hitting a record low,” said Starczyk, in a statement. “Prices are still rising, but sellers realize that buyers can go only so high.”