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SCV home sale market hits a snag

The low number of homes available slowed sales in July

Posted: August 24, 2012 4:52 p.m.
Updated: August 24, 2012 4:52 p.m.

A Newhall home listed for sale by RE/MAX of Santa Clarita in July on Hacienda Lane. The listing price is $560,000 but there are very few standard sale homes available.


Despite reports of rising home sales and median prices throughout California, the market hit a snag in the Santa Clarita Valley in July, according to a report released by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors on Friday.

The low number of homes on the market in the Santa Clarita Valley is slowing sales, reversing the progress made through June, experts said. June sales hit a five-year high, topping any record set since March 2007.

Still, home sales in July remained above the year before, marking an 8.6 percent increase in year-over-year numbers compared to July 2011. Condominium sales rose 20.5 percent over July 2011.

The 203 homes sold in July dropped 15 percent from the 238 sold in June. But shrinking inventory is at the root of slowing sales — buyers are lined up and multiple offers are common on many of the properties.

Properly priced homes are attracting multiple offers and typically sell quickly, often at prices higher than the original list prices, said Erika Kauzlarich-Bird, president of the association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division.

The association reported 490 active listings in the SCV last month, down 57.3 percent from the 1,148 homes listed in July 2011. Those numbers mean one thing: Although fewer homes are being listed for sale, of those listed, more homes are selling, signifying the problem with lack of inventory.

“It’s amazing that the month ended with sales higher than a year ago because, frankly, there are very few properties out there for people to buy,” she said.

The active listings represent only a 1.7-month supply of homes for buyers to shop from, well below the five- to six-month supply that is considered to be a balanced market.

“The good news is that sales are on the rise. The bad news is there’s not much to sell,” said Jim Link, the association’s chief executive officer.

Of the sales last month, 32.3 percent were for short sales, 27.8 percent were for standard sales, and 15.5 percent were tied to bank-owned properties. The total group of distressed home sales — short sales and bank-owned properties — drags the median prices down, experts said.

The median price of the homes sold last month was $350,000, down from $360,000 in June and 5.4 percent below from a year ago. The median price for a condo of $170,000 was down 21.8 percent from July 2011.



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