BY LEON WORDEN/ SCVNEWS.COM
More single-family homes were sold in October than September, but at slightly lower prices, according to data Tuesday from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
The typical single-family home changed hands for $360,000 in October, down from $370,000 in September, while condominium prices averaged $200,000 in October versus $203,900 in September.
But the prices were in line with averages for the year. Throughout 2012, prices of previously owned single-family homes have averaged $364,610 – roughly even with the 2011 mark of $364,867.
Meanwhile, prices of previously owned condos have averaged 190,890 during 2012, down from 210,675 in 2011.
Single-family home and condo prices hit a 10-year low on an annual basis during 2012. Annual averages climbed during the 1990s and early 2000s, peaking in 2006 at about double the current levels.
““Not only is Santa Clarita a fantastic place to live, but today’s prices are unlikely to be seen again for a long while,” said Erika Kauzlarich-Bird, president of SRAR’s Santa Clarita Valley Division.
October saw 23 percent more single-family homes close escrow than September (217 versus 190), but fewer condos changed hands (83 versus 91).
Kauzlarich-Bird said the increase in single-family home closings indicates that “traditional buyers are coming back into the market as they finally understand the scope of today’s opportunities, even with an incredibly limited inventory.”
There were just 373 active listings at the end of October, SRAR officials said, which equates to a 1.3-month supply of for-sale homes. A five- to six-month supply is a sign of a healthy market.
“Santa Clarita is part of a statewide trend that has seen the supply of homes listed for sale fall sharply lower with each passing month,” said SRAR CEO Jim Link. “Some of the inventory decline is due to a drop in listings of bank-owned properties, which is a positive sign that the market moving back to normal.”
SRAR said 12.7 percent of October’s single-family and condo sales were REOs (bank-owned property typically acquired via foreclosure); 35.1 percent were short sales (where lenders allow a sale for less than what is owed); and 36.5 percent were standard or traditional equity sales.
“Despite a vanishing inventory, we’re confident that 2013 will see strong activity and continued improvement in the local housing market,” Link said. “There’s pent-up demandfor housing out that is generating multiple offers on virtually every property.”