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Monday, Jan 30, 2023
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Valley Home-Buying Season Starts Strong

San Fernando Valley home and condominium sales surged in March as the traditional home-buying season got off to an unexpectedly strong start, according to a Southland Regional Association of Realtors report released on Friday. There were 537 single-family homes that changed hands during the month, up 30 percent from a year earlier and 56 percent over February. Median prices rose 4.2 percent, to $536,500, from a year earlier. The latest numbers represent the strongest March since 2011. In a prepared statement, association President Gaye Rainey said “this season already is witnessing eager, enthusiastic home hunters who appear optimistic enough to open their pocket books in the wake of positive statistics on nearly all economic fronts.” The activity came as more homeowners are in an equity position and distressed sales have all but vanished: Traditional transactions accounted for 90 percent of sales while just 10 percent were foreclosures or short-sales, according to the report. But tight inventory remains a lingering aftereffect of the recession, with 1,106 active listings at the end of the month, up just a half percent from a year ago. That amounts to a two-month supply in the market. In the Santa Clarita Valley, median home prices hit $520,000 – up 12.6 percent from a year ago and breaking the $500,000 mark for the first time since 2007. A total of 209 homes changed owners in March, up 56 percent over a year ago and 42 percent ahead of February. The substantial activity bodes well for the spring home-buying season, the report said, although as in the San Fernando Valley, limited inventory may prevent the market from overheating. “What we’re seeing is a strong, traditional residential real estate market,” said Bob Khalsa, president of the association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division. “Prices are rising, but at a moderate pace, even as sales pick up, suggesting that buyers are unwilling to pay more than what a property is worth.”

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