SCV home sales slowing down, prices moderate

Home sales in the Santa Clarita Valley are slowing down faster than other areas in Southern California and a recent report by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors showed that prices backed off of recent highs as well.

Data released Wednesday for the month of February indicated that the close of escrow on single-family homes and condominiums were nearly 9 percent and 10 percent down from a year ago February but higher from January of this year.

Amanda Etchevery, chair of the SCV division of the association, said the springtime will be an interesting homebuying season. “Interest rates have fallen recently, buyers have more properties to choose from, and there is less competition as some buyers were pushed out of the market by rising prices,” she said.  

“The question is,” Etchevery added, “will people who want and need a home understand that all those factors lead to one conclusion — owners may be willing to make concessions if they want to sell quickly.”

This may lead to price reductions, she said. According to the 2019 SCV Economic Outlook report, prepared by the California Economic Forecast, “As of January 2019, sales were falling at a 26-percent annual rate.”

The median price of single-family homes that closed escrow in February was $590,000, which was down nearly 2 percent when compared to February of last year.

“Santa Clarita is a rare Southern California community that did not see the home resale price break records set during the boom of last decade,” the report said.  

“Prospective buyers have interesting choices to make,” Tim Johnson, the association’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “High prices prompt some buyers to wait, while other buyers see a rare, relatively unique opportunity to own a home at a time when interest rates are more favorable, the inventory is enlarged, and sellers are more agreeable.”

The condominium median price came in at $370,000, which was down at almost 3 percent from a year ago. This median was almost 10 percent lower than the record high median of $410,000 that was set in April 2018.

Homes and condominiums listed for sale throughout Santa Clarita were up by 45 percent from last year as the report indicated a total of 559 listings. February was the ninth consecutive month that the inventory increased, with only a few exceptions, for 25 consecutive declines, the association said.

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