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Local single-family-home sales rise in July

Posted: August 24, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 24, 2011 1:57 a.m.

Sales of single-family homes in July rose 6.3 percent in the Santa Clarita Valley, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Monday.

Sales of single-family homes in July rose 6.3 percent in the Santa Clarita Valley, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Monday.

Despite home buyer tax credits bolstering the real estate market in 2010, locally the real estate market improved in year-over-year comparisons for both June and July signaling a more stable market.

A total of 187 sales transactions were recorded, up 11 transactions from one year ago.

Sales of condominiums improved, as well. There were 73 sales transactions in July, up 7.4 percent over July 2010.

That’s the first improvement in the condo market in the past eight months.

“Given pent-up demand, near record low interest rates and affordable prices you’d think that sales would come in even stronger, but even this small step forward is welcome,” said Sal Aranda, president of the association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division.

“Consumers are concerned about the economy, but I cannot stress strongly enough the uniqueness of the opportunities present in this market, which is changing on a daily basis.”

Sale prices
Locally, the median price of homes sold in July was $370,000 ,and represented a 12-percent decline from the prior year.

Overall, July sales prices reflected a 42-percent decline from the height of the market in April 2006.

Although a common industry measurement, median prices don’t show the spread of prices, where many properties could have sold lower or higher, prices affecting the median point of the home value market.

The average price for homes sold in the Santa Clarita Valley, reflecting prices for current housing inventory, was $414,400 in the month of July.

Median condo prices, nearly flat with a year ago, rose 8.8 percent from June.

Locally, prices for both single-family homes and condominiums hit the bottom of the market in January of this year. While there have been some ups and downs, prices have been steadily creeping upward this year.

“While the Santa Clarita economy is relatively strong and growing, sustained job and income increases nationwide are needed before consumers can feel confident, and housing can truly get on track,” said Jim Link, the association’s CEO.

Growing market
There were 1,148 active home-sale listings SRAR reported for Santa Clarita in the month of July, up nearly 2 percent from a year ago.

With home sales up, and prices continuing to creep upward, the market is very slowly marching toward recovery.
With prices picking up, home affordability edged downward during the second quarter reported the Los Angeles/Ventura chapter of the Building Industry Association last week.

Still, the BIA reports homes remain extremely affordable compared with the most of the past decade.

Despite the current economic turmoil and continued high-unemployment levels, home buyers will look back on 2011 and wish they’d bought when homes were so affordable, said Holly Schroeder, the L.A./Ventura county chapter’s CEO.

“Today is a really great time to buy, with prices and mortgage interest rates at historically low levels,” Schroeder said.

“As Warren Buffett said just last week, the housing market may turn around quicker than anyone expects, and when it does, it’s likely that the affordability level will fall sharply from where it is today,” she said.


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