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Home sales see boost in August

Single-family sales up nearly 4 percent from 2008

Posted: September 28, 2009 10:08 p.m.
Updated: September 29, 2009 8:00 a.m.
Santa Clarita Valley home sales jumped slightly in August, with an increase of 3.5 percent from the same time in 2008.

Last August, 206 single-family homes changed hands, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

Condominium sales of 76 units in August were down 8.4 percent from the same time in 2008.

A limited inventory has led to competition among potential home buyers, the association reported.

At the end of August there were 752 properties listed for sale in the valley, down 55.3 percent from August 2008.

Realtors expect an increase in inventory when the state moratorium on foreclosures expires Wednesday.

More than half of current sales are foreclosed properties or short sales, where the asking price is lower than the outstanding property loan, according to Nancy Starczyk, president of the association's Santa Clarita Valley division.

Foreclosures made up about 31 percent of all sales nationally in August, according to the National Association of Realtors.

"We will not see a sustained recovery until the foreclosure pipeline is unclogged," she said in a statement. "There are enough ready and willing buyers out there to absorb an increase in inventory."

The average price of single-family homes in August was $428,900, down 11.4 percent from the same time in 2008, according to the Realtors association. With a median of $234,100, condo prices were down 11.7 percent from August 2008.

There were 206 escrows closed on single-family homes last August, the highest since 2006, when the August total was 250. By comparison, the highest August total since 1997 was 401 in 2003.


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