Reflecting a limited inventory combined with stiff buyer competition for housing in affordable price ranges, the median price of condominiums sold during April in the San Fernando Valley set a record high at $435,000, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported on Monday, May 21.
It was the second consecutive month to post a record with the April median up 11.5 percent over a year ago. The condo median has come in above the $410,000 benchmark every month since May 2017.
The single-family median price of $697,000 was up 10.6 percent from a year ago, but hovered 0.4 percent below the record high $700,000 home median price set this February.
“Supply doesn’t come close to matching demand with our local inventory of properties for sale unlikely to improve anytime soon,” said Gary Washburn, president of the 10,300-member Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®. “This ongoing imbalance between supply and demand no doubt will trigger more record highs in the months ahead.”
The Association reported a total of 1,168 active listings at the end of April throughout the San Fernando Valley. That was down 3.0 percent from a year ago and, at the current pace of sales, represented a 1.8-month supply. A year ago it was a 1.9-month supply.
The local inventory has posted a monthly decline compared to the prior year every month since January 2015. And, with only two exceptions, inventory has been below the 2.0-month benchmark every month since March 2017.
“Despite high prices and the lack of inventory, properties continue to sell,” said Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer. “That in itself is not surprising, yet I suspect that people unfamiliar with the local residential real estate market may not fully appreciate the complexity of each sale and how hard and fast REALTORS® and all parties must work to get to the finish line.
“Local escrows are closing on average in about 30 days, which is remarkably fast,” Johnson said. “Some folks think that offers from multiple buyers and a fast sale make a transaction simple, easy. It’s often the opposite—today’s warp speeds and fast escrows test the skills of even the most seasoned REALTOR®.”
A total of 473 single-family homes closed escrow locally during April. That was off 0.6 percent from a year ago, yet up 3.3 percent from this February, a reflection of seasonal patterns.
REALTORS® also assisted 163 condominium sales, though that number was down 3.0 percent from April 2017 and off 2.4 percent from this February, a deviation from seasonal patterns.
Of the total combined real estate transactions reported during April, the Association reported only one foreclosure-related sale and six short payoffs, where the lender agrees to a sale price that is less than the outstanding existing loan balance.
A total of 618 transactions were standard sales involving traditional buyers and sellers.
Pending escrows—a measure of future sales activity—were only slightly below year-ago levels, down 0.7 percent to 730 open escrows.