SCV single-family, condo sales rise year to year

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Single-family home sales in the Santa Clarita Valley increased by 8.8 percent last month compared to January 2016, but dropped by 37.9 percent compared to December 2016’s numbers, according to data released Thursday by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

The group said the month-to-month dip between this past December and January reflected a “typical seasonal pattern.”

Meanwhile, sales of condominiums in the SCV followed a similar arc – increasing by 25.5 percent over January 2016 numbers, but dipping by 17.9 percent over sales figures from this past December.

The January numbers reflect the best start in two years for single-home sales, while the condo numbers have not been higher since 2007, the SRAR said.

January’s median prices in both categories — $560,000 for single-family homes, $360,000 for condos — were both slightly below recent high points, according to the data.

What’s it all mean?

“I think it is too early yet to have a clear idea as to where the market is heading for the year,” said Martin Kovacs, chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the SRAR.

“Demand for housing in Santa Clarita remains strong, yet rising resale prices and the limited inventory are powerful forces that limit buyer options and constrain sales.”

Specific numbers regarding single-family home sales in the Santa Clarita Valley showed 123 closed escrows last month, compared to 113 in January 2016 and 198 this past December.

The median prices for single-family homes in those periods were $560,000 last month, $530,000 in January 2016 and $555,000 this past December. The June 2016 median of $575,000 was the highest in 10 years, the SRAR said.

For condos, there were 69 closed escrows in January, compared to 55 in January 2016 and 84 this past December.

Median prices for condos were $360,000 last month, $306,500 in January 2016, and $340,000 this past December. The SRAR said that September 2016’s median condo price of $372,000 marked the high point in the area since the economic recovery began.

“More than most other regions of the nation, local housing has unique constraints, namely a dearth of inventory and shrinking affordability,” said Tim Johnson, the SRAR’S chief executive officer. “Looking ahead, rising interest rates and uncertainties in national housing policy make prediction for the year even riskier than usual.”

In the San Fernando Valley, 377 single-family homes closed escrow in January, the highest total for the month since 2013, rising 11.9 percent over January 2016. Meanwhile, 136 condos were sold there in January, up 15.3 percent from January 2016 and the most for the month since January 2013. The home and condo sales totals fell 24.0 percent and 24.9 percent, respectively, from December.

But the median price of a San Fernando Valley condo in January hit $400,000 in January — the first time at that level since February 2007.

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