Local REALTORS® helped close escrow on 171 single-family home and 82 condominium transactions during November throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported on Thursday, Dec. 21.
Home sales were off 16.6 percent while condominium transactions fell 7.9 percent compared to a year ago November.
Just 23 condominium sales are needed in December for 2017 to post an annual increase in condo sales, but even with a strong final month home sales are likely to post the first annual decline after two years of annual increases.
“Just as we’ve said for many months, there’s plenty of demand for housing, but the lack of inventory combined with rising prices stifle sales,” said Marty Kovacs, chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®.
“Interest rates are on the rise and now we have the added uncertainty of the impact of tax reform on local home sales,” Kovacs said. “It will be interesting to see how it unfolds, but 2018 is likely to be another tepid year for home sales.”
The Association reported 419 active listings throughout Santa Clarita at the end of November. That was down 13.8 percent from a year ago and represents an 1.7-month supply at the current pace of sales, which is well below the ten-year average monthly listing of a 4.3-month backlog.
Santa Clarita has seen 13 consecutive months with the active inventory lower than the prior year. Nonetheless, pending escrows — a measure of future closed escrow activity — totaled 278, up 10.3 percent from a year ago.
“If the Fed increases interest rates going forward, as some are expecting, coupled with these high prices and record-low inventory, housing affordability is going to be off the charts,” said Tim Johnson, CEO of the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®.
“It will get more and more difficult for our middle-income workers to find affordable places to live near where they work,” Johnson said. “It’s becoming more and more critical that we get additional inventory into the market.”
While other regions see prices equal to or higher than the records of last decade, the median price of homes in the Santa Clarita Valley continues to hover just below the record highs.
The median home price posted in November was $580,000, up 6.4 percent from November 2016. That price was 9.8 percent below the record high of $643,000 set in April 2006. The closest median has come to that record was June’s median price of $586,000.
The condo median price during November $383,500 was up 12.8 percent from a year ago. It also was the highest median in 11 years — just 3.4 percent below the record high of $397,000 established in January 2006.
Of the 253 combined residential sales, only two sales or 0.8 percent were foreclosure related transactions. The Association reported five short sales for a 2.0 percent market share while standard sales, involving traditional buyers and sellers, totaled 245 or 96.8 percent of the November market.
The Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® is a local trade association with more than 9,800 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.
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