San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Valley Home Prices Hit Four-Year High

By Kelly Goff Thursday, February 21, 2013

The housing market continued to recover in January, with home prices in the San Fernando Valley soaring to the highest level in four years, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors said Thursday.

The median price of a home that closed escrow last month hit $420,000, up 20 percent over the same period a year earlier and the highest monthly median since August 2008, according to the Van Nuys trade group.

Buyers have been a mix of traditional home buyers and investors, and a low inventory is driving up prices, the group’s monthly report noted.

“While cash is king and investors have an advantage, more and more properties are selling in the traditional way,” said Jim Link, chief executive of the association, in a statement. “As the number of short sales and foreclosure-related sales drop, traditional sales will increase and the market will improve even more.”

Inventory remained low, with only 1,025 properties listed for sale at the end of January, representing less than a two month supply.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, the median home price was $360,000, unchanged from January 2012. However, the number of sales increased 2 percent to 149 homes – the highest January sales total in six years.

Inventory also remained low in Santa Clarita, with just 325 active listings at the end of the month.

“There are plenty of buyers out there, traditional as well as investors,” said Bob Khalsa, president of the association’s Santa Clarita Valley Division, in a statement. “Yet inventory is so low and lending standards still so high, that we’re unable to satisfy demand.”