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Home sales on the rise

Economy: June numbers show continued improvement

Posted: July 27, 2010 9:00 p.m.
Updated: July 28, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Traditional sales are starting to pick up as homebuyers in the Santa Clarita Valley accept the current market realities and move to capture favorable prices and low-interest rates, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, Inc.  recently reported.

“There are a large number of buyers who want to take advantage of today’s low home prices and even lower interest rates,” said Andrew Walter, president of the Association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division.

While some regions experienced a slowdown in sales, June activity in the Santa Clarita Valley posted increases in resales of existing single-family homes and condominiums.

A total of 208 homes changed owners in June, up 3 percent from the same month last year. It was the second-highest total since July 2009, behind only the 215 sales posted this May.

The 208 home sales in June were up 110 percent from the 99 sales posted in January 2008, the lowest monthly total of this economic downturn.

A total of 91 condominiums also changed owners last month, up 2.2 percent from a year ago. June condo activity was nearly 200 percent above the January 2008 low point, when 31 condos closed escrow.

Walter noted that today’s buyers don’t feel a sense of urgency.

“Their general feeling about the market is that it is gradually improving,” Walter said. “We are seeing more and more regular sales as prospective buyers and current owners see this as the perfect time to jump in or to move up.”

That’s probably because home prices are still near rock bottom. The median price of homes sold last month was $400,000, down 2.4 percent from a year ago. That’s just 4 percent above the December 2008 low, when the median home price was $385,000.

The median price of condos was $230,000, down 1.1 percent from a year ago and off 4.2 percent from this May. The June condo median has increased 15.3 percent from the record-low median price of $199,500 of March 2009.

“Keeping perspective is difficult when we still have owners losing their homes and short sales remain a major part of sales,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer. “Yet, since the market hit bottom, we’ve seen a steady, slow increase in activity. We have a long way to go, but the pulse is getting stronger.”


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