BY LEON WORDEN / SCVNEWS.COM
Santa Clarita Valley home prices moved up in February as single-family homes commanded higher month-over-month and year-over-year prices and condominium prices were the strongest they’ve been in 21 months.
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The median price for a detached home in the SCV in February was $379,000, compared to $360,000 in January and $358,000 in February 2012, according to data from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
The typical condo sold for $220,000 in February, up from January’s $206,700. The last time the figure was higher was May 2011 ($225,000).
“Home prices are on the way up again, with demand picking up even in homes priced above $800,000,” said Bob Khalsa, president of SRAR’s Santa Clarita Division.
“Santa Clarita is recovering faster than some Southern California communities because of our demographics and a vibrant economy,” Khalsa said in a statement. “Theentertainment industry continues to expand locally, (and) we’re the only place in L.A. County with significant new construction underway.”
A total of 153 previously owned single-family homes changed hands in February, 2.7 percent more than in January and 10.9 percent more on the year. Condo sales totaled 69, up 16.9 percent from January and 25.5 percent from February 2012.
Still, owners were holding back. “A record low 317 active listings were reported at the end of February, down 63.2 percent from a year ago,” SRAR reported. “At the current pace of sales, that represents a 1.4-month supply; a 5- to 6-month supply would be considered balanced.”
Listings peaked in September 2006 at 2,630.
“I don’t see listings picking up for a couple of years,” Khalsa said, “partly because there are still so many underwater owners, but more so because we’ve had a sea change in homeownership in this country.
“Now we have a large number of homes owned by investors,” he said. “They don’t buy and sell the same as a traditional homeowner. They prefer a 1031-exchange to avoid capital gains tax. I don’t see investors just getting rid of the homes they’ve picked up today.”
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