Home and condominium sales throughout the San Fernando Valley got off to a solid start during January even as inventory continued to shrink and the median price of condominiums hit its highest level since 2007. The 377 single-family homes that closed escrow last month added up to the highest total for the month since 2013, rising 11.9 percent over a year. Similarly, 136 condominiums changed owners during January, up 15.3 percent from January 2016.
The total also was the highest for the month since January 2013.The condominium median price in January hit the $400,000 benchmark for the first time since February 2007. It has been on a relentless upward drive with January’s condo median 10.3 percent higher than a year ago and up 5.3 percent from December. The median was 3.6 percent below the record high of $415,000 established in 2006. “Rising prices are wonderful for sellers,” said Nancy Starczyk, president of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. “But higher prices make it tougher on buyers and a growing number of buyers really need help.”
The median price of single-family homes that closed escrow during January was $605,000, up 6.2 percent over a year ago and 5.2 percent higher than the December median and 7.6 percent below the record-high median of $655,000 set in June 2007. Tim Johnson, the Association’s chief executive officer, said the lack of property for sale combined with plentiful buyers fuels higher prices. A total of 1,139 active listings were reported at the end of January. “It’s difficult to believe that 7,000 active listings per month were common last decade,” Johnson said, “and that back in the 1990s there were months when more than 14,000 properties were for sale during any given month.”