David Walker: SCV inventory rises for 8th consecutive month

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The inventory of homes and condominiums listed for sale throughout the Santa Clarita Valley continued to rise during January even as high resale prices and seasonal forces combined to keep sales in check, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Friday.

The 550 active listings at the end of the month were up 58.5 percent from a year ago, representing the eighth consecutive month-to-month increase after two-and-a- half years of monthly declines in inventory.

“While still low compared to historical numbers and below what the market needs to satisfy all buyers, the inventory represented a 3.6-month supply at the January pace of sales,” said Amanda Etcheverry, chair of the Santa Clarita Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

“We haven’t seen a supply that high since February of 2012,” she said, noting that it then was at a 4.5-month supply, which is closer to what the market needs so that neither buyers nor sellers have an advantage in negotiations. “Part of the sales slowdown is seasonal, yet part of it also is due to high resale prices that generate buyers’ resistance.” REALTORS® helped negotiate 103 single-family closed escrows during January and 51 condominiums transactions, down 30.4 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. Those totals came close to the record lows of 99 home sales and 31 condo sales; both records were set in January 2008.

“It’s good to see homeowners listing more properties in a market that desperately needs housing,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer. “Now, the challenge for Realtors will be to convince those sellers that the market is in transition and yesterday’s prices may meet resistance today.”

The median price of homes sold last month came in at $587,000, the association reported. That was up 2.1 percent from January 2018, but down 2.2 percent from the December median price of $600,000. The record high home price of $643,000 was set in April 2006.

Similarly, the condominium median price of 360,000 was off 7.7 percent from a year ago and 0.8 percent lower than December’s median price. The record high condominium median of $410,000 was recorded in April. Pending sales, a measure of future sales activity, suggest sales may be limited until the Spring buying season gets underway. There were 209 open escrows reported at the end of January. That was down 13.3 percent from 241 pending sales reported 12 months ago.

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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