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2007 SCV Home Sales Hit Record Low

Posted: February 6, 2008 11:32 a.m.
Updated: April 8, 2008 2:02 a.m.
Just under 2,000 single-family homes sold in the Santa Clarita Valley in 2007, making it the lowest annual total since at least 1998, according to a report released from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

The annual median price of homes also fell for the first time on record, as well as the annual tally of sold condominiums in the valley.
A total of 1,993 single-family homes sold last year, down 31.3 percent from 2006. This figure represents the lowest annual total since the association started keeping statistics in 1998.
The record high of 3,869 home sales was set in 2004 during the peak of the seller's boom market, according to the report released Monday.
Additionally, condominium sales in the valley hit a record low with 841 condos sold in 2007, making a 32.5 percent drop from the prior year.
Three of the last four years have posted sales declines after six consecutive years of typically double-digit increases in sales, according to the association.
In terms of revenue, Santa Clarita Valley Realtors generated $1.57 billion for buyers, sellers and the local economy.
However, that figure does not include the added millions of dollars each sale created for related services like landscaping and contractors.
The annual median price of the 1,993 homes sold last year was $570,658, a decline of 5.4 percent from the record high of $603,492 set in 2006. It was the first drop in the annual median since the association began keeping statistics in 1998.
A drop is also seen for condominiums, as the annual median price of $353,333 was down 7.2 percent from the record high of $380,583 set in 2006. Like the single-family homes, it was the first decline on record for the association.
From 2001 to 2005, the condo annual median price posted double-digit gains with 2003 and 2004 at 28.3 percent and 28.7 percent respectively.
In the report, Doreen Chastain-Shine, 2008 president of the Association's Santa Clarita Valley Division said, "I truly do not expect resale prices to go down all that much. Still, sellers don't want to believe what's happening, that the market has shifted in favor of buyers. Sellers are still not being realistic."
Chastain-Shine and Jim Link, the association's chief executive officer, said that while it will take some time to work out problems related to foreclosures and short sales in the area, the problem is not nearly as severe enough to dramatically impact resale prices.
"While we're seeing the effect of the subprime crisis in the overall market, we are not in a price free fall like what might be happening in the market with large amounts of new home construction and a high percentage of first-time home buyers," Link said.
The report points out that even foreclosed properties listed for sale by lenders are not being priced with large discounts because lenders want to recoup their investment.
At the end of December, there were 2,100 active listings throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, up 9.4 percent from a year ago, but down 10.3 percent from the November tally, the association reports. At the current pace of sales, the inventory represents a 12.7-month supply, continuing the buyers' market. However, the inventory has come down from November's 15.7-month supply.
"The mindset that real estate values never go down simply is not true," Link said. "Like any commodity, real estate has its peaks and valleys, but over time owning a home in California has always been a solid investment that continues to increase in value."


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