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San Fernando
Thursday, Jun 8, 2023


econowatch/july/dy/10″/dt1stjc2nd The San Fernando Valley home market showed signs of improvement in April, according to this month’s issue of Valley econowatch, but the jury is still out on whether the fledgling recovery is here to stay. The Valley resale home index for April stood at 72.0, up 2.3 percent over March and up 3.3 percent over April 1996, according to Experian, which calculates the index. That means a home that sold for $100,000 in the index’s base year of 1990 sold for $72,000 in April 1997. The volume of Valley home sales also posted a strong gain in April, with 1,812 homes changing hands that month vs. 1,576 in March and 1,724 in April 1996. The simultaneous increases reflect a nascent recovery in the Valley market, where demand for low-end homes in particular is heating up, said Bud Mauro, president elect of the San Fernando division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. The Southland Regional association was created after a recent merger between the San Fernando Valley Association of Realtors and the Santa Clarita Valley Association of Realtors, although the two divisions still maintain separate presidents. “Activity is at the lower end. Probably 90 percent of the activity is at that range,” said Mauro, adding that “low-end” means houses valued at less than $150,000. The increased demand for lower-end homes means that owners of “starter” homes those homes typically favored by first-time buyers are less willing to negotiate lower prices with prospective buyers. As a result, sellers are beginning to command prices closer to their asking prices, Mauro said. It also means many sellers of lower-end homes, especially those in better condition, are getting multiple offers on their properties, according to Mauro. “It’s not uncommon to get more than one offer on a property nowadays. Nice properties are selling right away going after their first few days on the market.” While most of the signs are positive, Mauro said it is still too early to say whether the fledgling recovery can be sustained and, if so, whether it’s poised to pick up steam. However, he noted that a “trickle-up” effect appears to be starting, whereby low-end homeowners are selling their properties and trading up, creating some new activity for “trade-up” homes in the $150,000 to $200,000 range. “The last three buyers (whose houses) I sold owned condos in the less-than-$125,000 range,” he said. Now they’re trading into homes in the $160,000-to-$200,000 range. If that activity continues, the market will continue to improve.”

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