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Homes sales drop

Realtors’ association says fear may have frozen the market

Posted: October 21, 2010 10:18 p.m.
Updated: October 22, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Home prices held steady last month, but sales of Santa Clarita Valley single-family homes fell for the third consecutive month amid consumer uncertainty likely to be an ongoing drag on the market as the holiday season approaches, a Realtors’ association announced Thursday.

Home sales were down 6.2 percent from a year ago, with 167 single-family homes changing hands last month, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

“Uncertainty has consumers frozen in place,” Andrew Walter, president of the association’s Santa Clarita Valley division. “But the buyers who are active in the market today are taking advantage of the great prices, low interest rates and limited competition.”

Walter said the end of the federal and state tax credits earlier this year produced a surge in activity, yet ongoing concerns over the economy and jobs make potential home buyers hesitate.

Despite the uncertainty, condominium sales are up 9.2 percent over last year, with 71 condos sold in September.

“Condo sales are doing better because obtaining a loan is somewhat easier in the lower price ranges, while jumbo loans are still difficult to come by,” association CEO Jim Link said.

The median price of sold homes last month was $410,000, unchanged from a year ago, and down 1 percent from August.

There were 1,249 active listings at the end of September, up 67 percent from last year’s 747. That makes for a five-month supply of homes at the current pace of sales, realtors noted.


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