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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Home and Condo Sales Healthy as Resale Prices Climb

Sales of homes and condominiums in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys continued at a solid — if not record-breaking — clip in July, while the median price for condominiums in the Valley hit a record high, according to a Southland Regional Association of Realtors report. In the San Fernando Valley, the median price for condominiums yet again set a record, rising 9.5 percent in July to $449,000. That figure beat the record set the month before in June of $438,000. “Our soaring prices and limited inventory points to an irrefutable fact,” said association President Gary Washburn. “There will be no price relief until more housing is built to satisfy pent-up demand.” The story was slightly different with median prices of single-family homes sold in July in the San Fernando Valley, as they were healthy but not record-shattering. Valley single-family homes came in at $690,500, 3.8 percent higher than a year ago and 2.5 percent below the record home high of $708,000 set in May. “Prices are up, because inventory is low and housing production is minuscule compared to what is needed to establish and maintain a healthy and affordable housing market,” explained Tim Johnson, the association’s chief executive. “No doubt, tenants struggle to pay premium rents, yet any movement toward rent control will only make the situation worse.” Realtors assisted in the sale of 518 single-family homes and 159 condominiums throughout San Fernando Valley last month, an increase of 6.6 percent from a year ago for home sales, yet off 16.3 percent for condominiums. There were 1,388 active listings throughout the Valley by the end of the month, down 2. 7 percent from a year ago. Resale prices climbed higher in Santa Clarita Valley for July. Realtors helped close escrow on 215 single-family home sales and 90 condominiums throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. The home sale count was down 3.2 percent from a year ago and off 22.7 percent from this June, which was the highest monthly total of 278 sales for any month so far this year. Both drops also were influenced by seasonal factors as well as affordability and a lack inventory of homes listed for sale. The 90 condominium deals closed were down 31.8 percent compared to July 2017 and off 12.6 percent from June; July 2017’s 132 condo sales totaled the highest for any month since September 2005. The median price of homes that closed escrow during July stood at $600,000, up 2.6 percent from a year ago, yet off 1.6 percent from this June’s $610,000 median. All Santa Clarita records set during the boom of last decade have fallen, except for the home median price, which had hit a record high of $643,000 in April 2006. “Price points are getting so high regionwide that affordability may be key when it comes to slow sales, perhaps even more so than a lack of inventory,” said M. Dean Vincent, chairman of the associaiton’s Santa Clarita Valley Division. “As prices move higher, some homeowners may decide that now is an opportune time to sell. I’m hearing more and more from retirees or people thinking of moving out of state to find lower cost housing elsewhere that they want to decide soon. Current economic trends—rising interest rates along with a short inventory—may prompt a decision.” Santa Clarita condominiums changing hands in July had a median price of $379,000, up 5.9 percent from a year ago, yet 7.6 percent below the record high $410,000 condo median established this past April. In Santa Clarita Valley, the median price for a single-family home surged 3 percent from 2017 to hit $700,000. The last high on a median home charted at $643,000 in April 2006, with a low recorded in Jan. 2002 of $279,000. Southland Regional Association of Realtors, a local trade association with more than 10,300 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, is one of the largest local associations in the country.

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.

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