San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Valley Home Prices Rise by a Third

By Elliot Golan Monday, October 28, 2013

San Fernando Valley home prices continued to climb in September, with the median price hitting $520,000, a 33 percent increase over a year earlier, according to a Monday report from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

The increase came as the number of properties on the market also rose. There were 1,196 single family homes up for sale, compared to 1,124 a year earlier, according to the Van Nuys trade group.

“Buyers realize inventory is up slightly and sales typically slow this time of year, so they’re being more selective and sellers are having to accept some contingencies or make improvements,” Sharon Barron, president of the association, said in a statement.

She added that foreclosure sales have dropped to pre-recession levels while short sales are also dropping, which has decreased opportunities for investors and all-cash buyers while improving them for traditional buyers.

“What we’re seeing is the gradual emergence of a new normal,” Barron said.

Still, the number of listed homes represented just a two-month supply – low by historical standards – as 504 homes closed escrow during the month.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, home prices rose 16.2 percent from last year to $420,500, though that was down 4.5 percent from August.

Realtors in the northern L.A. County area say it may be a while before supply and demand comes back to normal – but they see improvement.

“Sales always drop this time of year. Yet a lot of little changes are adding up to ongoing improvement in the local home resale market,” said Bob Khalsa, president of the trade association’s Santa Clarita Valley division.