By Tammy Murga
Singal Staff Writer
Though less than last month, housing inventory in the Santa Clarita Valley rose for the fifth consecutive month during October when compared to previous years, according to a report by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
A total of 655 homes and condominiums were available for sale at the end of the month, down by 54 listings in September and an increase of 36.5 percent over a year ago.
From January 2015 through May of this year the inventory had posted declines, with only one exception.
“To have five consecutive months post increases in supply suggests owners believe prices may have peaked and now is a good time to sell,” M. Dean Vincent, chairman of the Santa Clarita Division of the association, said in a statement. “Demand for housing remains high, but any increase in inventory will ease upward pressure on prices.
With prices rising high enough that the number of people who can afford to buy is reducing, Vincent added that sellers “will have to be aware of the shifting market dynamics even as they seek the best price possible for their property.”
The October inventory represented a 2.6-month supply at the current pace of sales, showing an improvement from a year ago when the 480 active listings served a 1.6-month supply.
The average supply over the last 11 years was at a 3.7-month inventory, according to statistics from the association.
“Buyers certainly gain a bit more leverage as the inventory grows,” Tim Johnson, the association’s chief executive officer, said in a prepared statement. “Yet it remains a sellers’ market even as buyers have more choices and can argue for concessions or price reductions.”
The median price of single-family homes came in at $595,000, up 2.6 percent from a year ago. The monthly median has posted higher than the prior year virtually every month since the end of 2011 when prices hit a low of $340,000.
Unlike most Southern California communities, however, the local median price has yet to surpass the record high of $643,000 set in April 2006, according to the association.
The median price of condominiums sold last month was $399,900, which was up 12.8 percent from a year ago October, but 2.5 percent below the record high $410,000 established this April.
The association assisted 175 single-family home sales last month, down by just more than 10 percent from October 2017, and 73 condominiums, down by nearly 28 percent.
“There are still plenty of buyers out there, yet rising interest rates and rising prices make it more difficult to buy,” Johnson said. “Declining sales also typically occur around this time of year as holidays and the end of the year draw closer.”