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Drop in home sales prompted by low supply

Real Estate agents point to tight inventory in the SCV

Posted: December 29, 2009 9:32 p.m.
Updated: December 30, 2009 8:30 a.m.
 
Home sales in the Santa Clarita Valley were down in November, and Realtors pointed to limited inventory as the cause.

Listings dropped 45 percent from November 2008 to a total of 818 active listings at the end of last month, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

“There are plenty of buyers out there, especially in the lower price ranges, but the low inventory and problems getting loans make it difficult for them to get into a home,” Nancy Starczyk, president of the association’s SCV division, said in a statement. Prices are “firming up and actually rising on entry level homes due to competition that sometimes has dozens of buyers fighting over a home.”

A total of 162 single-family homes changed hands last month, the association reported. That represents a 17.8-percent drop from November 2008 and a 5.8-percent drop from last October.

The latest figures represent a 3.5-month inventory, compared to a 6.4-month supply in November 2008, according to the real estate association, which stated a balanced market is reflected by a five- to six-month supply.

The single-family median price of $407,000 last month was down 3.1-percent from November 2008, but up 1.8-percent from last October.

While last month’s condominium sales — 72 units — saw a 1.4-percent drop from November 2008, they were up 16.1 percent from last October, the association reported.

“While a home sale in California may not hinge on a $8,000 or $6,500 tax credit, the federal program which was extended until April ... will encourage more people to jump into the market,” association CEO Jim Link stated. “This will fuel even greater competition for entry level homes.”

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