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August Home Sales Slacken, but Condo Market Stays Strong

September 09, 1986|DANIEL AKST | Times Staff Writer

Sales of single-family homes in the San Fernando Valley area cooled last month as part of what the Valley Board of Realtors called a seasonal slowdown, but condominium sales remained strong.

The board said its realtors sold 1,180 single-family homes last month in the area from North Hollywood to Agoura, off 11.9% from July but up 14.2% from August, 1985.

Condo sales, meanwhile, were up 3.2% from July, to 225 units, despite the fact that sales are usually slow in August. And condo sales were up a whopping 60.7% from August, 1985.

"As the summer ends and school starts, residential home sales typically taper off," said Board President Temmy Walker. "We've seen steady declines in total resale activity for the last several months."

But Walker said sales this year are still much stronger than last, mainly because of lower interest rates and pent-up demand. She said the selling pace this fall will continue to depend on the direction of interest rates.

Supply Is Short

Much of the demand has been met by now, and the supply of single-family homes is short, she said, adding that the new tax-reform law should fuel demand for homes, since it will preserve mortgage-interest deductions while scaling back many other deductions.

The average price of a condo in the Valley was $114,800, up 4.6% since July but off 0.6% from $115,500 a year ago.

For a single-family home in the Valley, the average price was $180,000. That was off 1.4% from July, but up 10.1% from a year ago.

The board said the number of single-family homes available for sale continued to decline in August, when there were 5,787 homes being represented by realtors. That figure was off 1.8% from July and 11.5% from August, 1985.

The number of condos available, 2,080, was up 0.9% from July and 13.1% from August, 1985. The board attributed the increase to condo owners who perceived a strengthening of the market for the first time in years.

The board, California's largest, reports sales of houses and condos by its 7,500 members. Its statistics do not include most new residences, which are generally sold without a realtor, or homes that are sold by their owners, but the figures nevertheless illustrate local real estate trends.

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