San Fernando Valley home prices soared in December, with the median price reaching $475,000, a 22 percent increase over a year earlier, according to a report released on Thursday by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
The increase came as the number of properties on the market climbed nearly 18 percent to 1,250, up from 1,063 a year earlier, according to the Van Nuys trade group.
The association expects this year’s sales will match last year’s but resale prices will rise at a slower pace.
“2014 will see further improvement in the area’s housing market,” said Jim Link, the Association’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “We’re already on much more stable ground economically, while there is far more clarity regarding home loans.”
Still, the number of listed homes represented about a two-month supply – low by historical standards – as 506 homes closed escrow during the month.
In the Santa Clarita Valley, home prices rose just 8 percent from last year to $440,000, though that was slightly down from November.
Realtors in northern L.A. County area say restricted inventory had a strong impact on sales.
“While demand was heavy with multiple offers common during much of 2013, a restricted inventory, tight credit and rising resale prices limited home sales,” said Nancy Starczyk, the 2014 president of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “And existing owners hesitated to sell due to uncertainties lingering from the Great Recession.”