Tuesday, December 12, 2006

This is the January 2007 Market Report for the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas.

Home sales during November in the San Fernando Valley were down 22.5 percent compared to a year ago, yet local Realtors believe that’s good news suggesting that the market has completed its shift to a balanced, normal market, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported on Friday, Dec. 8.

"Everything I’ve been reading, everything I’ve been hearing from Realtors suggests that the major shift in the local residential real estate market is over," said Steve White, president of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, which serves the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. "The boom days are gone, replaced by today’s balanced market.

After years of 20 percent, 25 percent and higher year-to-year increases in the median price, it's noteworthy that the median price of single-family homes sold last month was virtually unchanged from the prior year– off less than 1 percent.

"People figure that if sales are off 10 percent then prices must be tumbling," said Jim Link, the Association’s executive vice president. "But prices are flat and buyers cannot assume they will get 20 percent or 30 percent off the list price. Low-ball offers get only one response – no counteroffer."

Link and White agreed that the market has reached a new level with zero indicators suggesting a major recession is anywhere on the horizon.

"It may turn out," White said, "that buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines may miss this opportunity. Activity typically picks up in the Spring and who knows where interest rates will be."

Interest rates on home loans declined over the last several weeks, offering buyers favorable terms, ideal conditions, along with the largest selection of properties listed for sale in years.

The inventory represented a 5.9-month supply at the current pace. A 5- to 6-month supply is regarded a "normal." During the height of the recent sellers’ market the inventory slipped to a mere 1-month supply. During the height of the national recession of the 1990s the inventory soared as high as a 19-month supply at the then current pace of sales.

Please forward this email to any of your friends who are interested to buy or sell a home.

To search for available homes, visit: http://www.homes.la/ or http://www.estates.la/

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