Realtors discuss unique market conditions

Demand has stayed strong in the Santa Clarita Valley despite a pandemic because the area has a high desirability factor, according to local Realtor Craig Martin of Realty One. PHOTO BY DAN WATSON / THE SIGNAL

While the overall economic picture might still be in recession, or at least, in recovery, the Santa Clarita Valley’s real estate market is creating unique opportunities for buyers and sellers, according to local Realtors. 

In terms of volume, 266 single-family homes were reported as sold in August, which is actually up 11% from the same time period last year, surprising some. However, Realtors are attributing that to a “pent-up demand” from a slower summer, due to the market being paused by quarantine.

“Interest rates on home loans that dipped below 3% combined with pent-up demand from the economic shutdown from Coronavirus pandemic brought buyers out in numbers,” said Louisa Henry, chair of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

However, there were some market aspects that helped sellers, too, such as the inventory and the rising prices caused by demand. 

The combination of factors at play are both unique and without much precedent, according to Erika Kauzlarich-Bird, who runs Compass Realty.

“A lot of this, we’re all just kind of continuing to watch because we’ve never had a trend of a pandemic, low interest rates and an election year all at once,” she said, noting it’s a bit of both a buyers’ and a sellers’ market.

“For buyers, you have an incredibly low interest rate,” Kauzlarich-Bird said, which really increases their buying power.

On the flip side, however, she noted: “With the sellers, there’s more demand than there is supply, in which case you’re seeing multiple offers on every property, and have buyers competing with each other.”

The fact that buyers on the market now are motivated, some of who have been waiting months for a chance to shop, is helping the price for sellers.

Giving a for-instance, she mentioned a listing off Copper Hill Drive closing Tuesday, which received 40 showings, 13 offers and ultimately sold for about $20,000 over its listing price.

The condo market wasn’t quite as strong, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors data for July, escrow closing on 96 condominiums — a total that was down 5% from the same time a year ago.

The median price of condominiums sold during August was 1.9% higher than a year ago, well below the record-high $440,000 set in June — while the low national average interest rate of 2.94% brought the income needed to qualify for a loan down 4.2% to $80,555.

Another reason why the market could very well stay strong for the short term? Santa Clarita remains a desirable real estate market, according to Realtors.

“Locally, we’re thriving because people want to live here and it’s affordable in the sense of everything that’s around us,” said Craig Martin, Realtor with Realty 1 Group, in a recent interview. “So I feel like our market is always going to be solid, because I feel like you get a lot for your value out here.” 

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