The annual median price of homes and condominiums sold during 2017 in the San Fernando Valley set record highs, and the inventory fell to a record low, yet the total of homes that changed owners last year still rose slightly, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported on Monday, Jan. 22.
Local REALTORS® assisted the sale of 5,922 single-family homes and 2,286 condominiums during 2017, with the annual home total up 1 percent and the condominium tally 6.8 percent ahead of 2016.
Those transactions—many of which required the Realtor and owner to navigate a raft of offers from multiple buyers—generated $5.9 billion for the local economy. That total does not include the millions of dollars produced by home-sale related activity, such as landscaping, remodeling, and furniture and appliance purchases.
The slight uptick in home sales was welcome news, though the increase merely boosted the year to the third lowest on record.
“Today’s resale activity is a shadow of what the local housing market once was,” said Gary Washburn, president of the 10,300-member Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®. “Even with record prices, people clamor for housing more than ever, yet there simply are not enough homes listed for sale.”
As 2017 came to a close the number of active listings reported throughout the Valley fell to a record low 819 active listings. That was a mere 1.3-month supply at the current pace of sales.
It was only the second time that the inventory fell below the 1,000 active listings benchmark and a far cry from the record monthly active listing tally of 14,976 set in July 1992.
“Last decade, when resale prices rose to record levels, owners raced to list their home for sale,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer, noting that today’s market is more stable than the wild ride between 2003 and 2007 partly because lenders go to greater lengths to ensure buyers can actually afford a home.
“Part of the hesitation to sell today may be related to the still-uncertain impact on residential real estate of the recently passed tax cuts at the federal level. And, current owners also are wary about finding another home due to the region’s severe housing shortage.”
Tens of thousands more homes are needed to satisfy pent-up demand at prices affordable to teachers, fire and police officers, rescue personal and all categories of the hard-working residents who keep the local economy humming.
Johnson and Washburn noted that owners realize their home may sell quickly, but finding a replacement residence locally can prove challenging, especially as prices hit new heights.
The annual median price of single-family homes sold last year came in at a record $643,783. That was up 7.3 percent from 2016, surpassed the prior record of $611,931 set in 2007, and was the sixth consecutive year of annual price increases.
Similarly, the annual median price of condominiums set a record at $410,367, up 10.0 percent from 2016. It also was the sixth consecutive year of condo price increases.
Sky high prices could entice more sellers into the market, yet barring any cataclysmic events, 2018 likely will see more of the same — slowly rising home and condominium resale prices, continued tight inventory, and tepid sales.
The Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® is a local trade association with more than 10,300 members serving the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. SRAR is one of the largest local associations in the nation.
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