Home sales slowed in the San Fernando Valley last month as the summer season came to an end and fewer homes were on the market, according to a Southland Regional Association of Realtors report.
There were 577 single-family homes that changed hands in the Valley during August, down 4.3 percent from July but up 20.7 percent from a year ago. The pace of condominium sales also slowed, with 188 transactions during the month, off 6 percent from July but still a 1.1 increase from the previous August.
The single-family median home price came in at $580,000, up 6.8 percent from a year earlier but down from $600,000 in July, when the median home price hit its highest level since October 2007.
In contrast, the condominium median price increased in August, to $370,000, up 5.7 percent from July and 11.8 percent over a year ago. The condo price increase probably reflects stiff competition for entry-level properties and tight inventory, according to the realty group.
“Unlike a decade ago, today’s prices are running up in response to limited supply and strong demand. Plus, there are different forces at play in today’s housing market, with people staying longer in homes, refinancing and remodeling, and a fundamental shift in consumers’ view of housing,” said Jim Link, the association’s chief executive, in a prepared statement.
Even with sales volume falling, as is common in the latter half of the year, the local market still had 884 escrows open at the end of August – up 23.5 percent over a year ago – and is likely to remain busy in the coming months, Link said.
In the Santa Clarita Valley, median home prices hit $523,000, an increase of 6.7 percent from a year ago and 2.6 higher than in July. A total of 248 single-family homes changed owners in August, up 15.9 percent over a year ago.
Condo sales in Santa Clarita were up 30.1 percent over last August, with 121 units changing hands. The median price for a condo was $325,000, up 14 percent over a year ago.
While it is still a seller’s market in Santa Clarita, there are fewer multiple offers and fewer offers coming in above the asking price, said Bob Khalsa, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the realty association. “Today’s market is stronger, fundamentally different from the rapid rise and quick fall of the market seen in the last decade,” he said in a statement.
Active listings in the region are falling, with just a 1.8-month supply of inventory on the market, and open escrows hit 350 by the end of August, up just 5.7 percent from a year ago compared to double-digit growth throughout the earlier part of the year. Both are signs that the local housing market is following seasonal sales patterns.