Inventory on High, Sales Not So Much

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By Tammy Murga
Signal Staff Writer

For the fourth consecutive month, the inventory of Santa Clarita Valley homes and condominiums increased to its highest level since August 2014, but a recent report showed sales dropped during September.

Data released by the SCV division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, found 709 active listings by the end of the month, an increase of nearly 32 percent from a year ago.

In Aug., 699 homes and condos were listed.

M. Dean Vincent, chairman of the SCV division said Sept.’s findings mirror that of the previous month, a sign that “the market is changing, it’s in transition.”

Much like in August, Tim Johnson, SRAR’s CEO, said the continued pattern of fewer sales shows that the market is transitioning to a buyer’s market.

This means, he said in a statement, “Buyers have more properties to choose from and more negotiating leverage, while sellers can still receive a very favorable price for their home.”

The lowest tally for the month on record was 162 single-family homes, which dropped 25 percent from 2017, the report showed.

When compared to Sept. of last year, the association assisted in 33-percent fewer condominium transactions.

“An increase in the number of active listings combined with prices that fewer and fewer buyers can afford, give the remaining buyers more bargaining tools,” Vincent said in a statement. “We’re still a long way from a buyers’ market, but anything that eases upward pressure on prices is welcome.”

The report also found that at the Sept. pace of sales the inventory represented a 3.1-month supply, the highest since Jan. 2015.

Johnson added that “there are no major storm clouds on the horizon today and over the next three to six months there appear to be more opportunities than potential pitfalls for buyers and sellers alike.”

The median price of homes was $599,900 during Sept., up 2.5 percent from 2017, but almost 7 percent below the record high of $643,000 in April 2006, according to the report.

The median condominium price was $385,000, slightly down from the previous month but nearly 7 percent higher from a year ago.

Except for only two transactions, data found that almost 99 percent of the 222 homes and condominiums that closed escrow during Sept. were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers.

No distressed sales of condominiums, one foreclosure-related home sale and one sold via short sale, where a lender agrees to a purchase price lower than the outstanding loan balance, were also reported.


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