Santa Clarita Valley Home Sales Pull Back from Record Highs


Realtors helped closed escrow on 234 single-family and 94 condominium sales during July throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, totals that pulled back from record highs set the prior month, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Thursday, Aug. 25.

The 234 home sales were 8.2 percent below a year ago and 11.7 percent below the 265 closed escrows reported in June, which was the highest monthly tally since October 2005.

Escrow also closed on 94 condominiums, down 21.0 percent from July 2015 and 26.0 percent lower than the 127 sales of June — the highest condo total since August 2013.

“I believe we’re hitting a point where buyers are resisting rising prices, with price increases coming slower even as the inventory of homes for sale stays too tight,” said M. Dean Vincent, president of the Santa Clarita Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

“There’s still plenty of demand out there and the local economy is improved,” Vincent said, “but low housing affordability and reduced buying power of homebuyers has put a cap on how fast the median price can increase.”

The median price of the 234 homes that changed owners ast month came in at $560,000, up 9.9 percent compared to July 2015. However, the median price fell 2.6 percent from the June median of $575,000, which was the highest since June 2007. The July median price was 12.9 percent below the record high of $643,000 set in April 2006.

The median price of condominiums sold during July was $331,000, up 0.3 percent over July 2015, and 16.6 percent below the record high condo median price of $397,000 established in January 2006. The high point since then came this May at $349,500.

“Not surprisingly,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer, “rising prices combined with limited supply and falling affordability translate into fewer sales.

“We are hearing that prices have gotten to the point where buyers are hesitant go higher than list price,” Link said. “There’s more negotiating going on and more sales coming in under list price and we’re not seeing as many sales at full price, especially since the number of all-cash buyers has receded.”

There were 626 active listings through Santa Clarita. That number was the highest in 10 months, yet off 9.1 percent compared to July 2015. At the current pace of sales it represented a 1.9-month supply, slightly higher than the July 2015 backlog of 1.8 months.

Of the 328 combined residential transactions last month, 96.3 percent were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers. There were 10 distressed sales: six foreclosure-related transactions for a 1.8 percent market share, and four short sales for a 1.2 percent market share.

Pending sales, a measure of future sales activity, fell 16.2 percent to 332 open escrows reported at the end of July.

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