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Southern California Housing Outlook

The San Fernando Valley’s resale housing market maintained its tepid pace in September as tight inventory and rising prices slowed sales, a trade association said Monday.

Last month the median home price rose to $620,000. That’s up 12 percent from $555,000 a year earlier, said the Van Nuys-based Southland Regional Association of Realtors. The median price fell $5,000 from August.

But September was the sixth consecutive month that the median has been higher than $600,000.

And last month’s median was just 5 percent under the record high of $655,000 in June of 2007.

The number of homes listed for sale last month fell 4 percent from September 2015 to 1,657 properties and a 2.2 month supply at the current sales pace.

 

The low level of inventory and still strong buyer demand will keep pushing prices higher, the association said.

“We used to see two and three times the monthly sales not all that long ago, yet today we’re in a market where 560 plus home sales and a couple hundred condo transactions are the norm,” said Jim Link, the association’s chief executive officer.

But it does look like the Valley’s market it heading for another down year.

He characterized the 2016 sales level so far this year as “lukewarm” and said that the total will likely fall 4.5 percent to 5 percent from last year.

The smaller condominium market featured essentially flat sales in September from a year earlier and from August, the association said.

Last month ended with 204 unit sales, three fewer that September 2015 but three more than August.

The median unit price increased 8 percent from a year ago to $375,000 and it declined $10,000 from August.

The median unit price is now 10 percent below the record $415,000 reached in February of 2006.

The scant inventory makes house hunting a tough proposition.

“Realtors and their buyers truly need to understand the local market to have a realistic chance of landing a home,” said association president Gina Uzunyan in a statement. “Pockets of the market see multiple offers while other sectors work at a more deliberate pace.”

 

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