New houses sold for a median of $235,000 in the San Fernando Valley during a three-month period that ended in late July, up 18% from a year earlier and up 14% from the preceding three months, according to a study by a real estate research firm.
The survey, conducted by Roulac & Co. of San Francisco, also found that 397 new single-family homes were sold, up 35% from the same period a year earlier and up 72% from the previous quarter.
Diane Wilson, Southern California sales manager for Roulac's survey, said that low interest rates have spurred consumers to buy homes and that builders were caught without sufficient inventory. The survey found that 146 new single-family homes were for sale in the Valley in late July, down 50% from July of the previous year and off 8% from three months earlier.
Shortage of New Homes
Because the Valley has little residential space left for development, there is a shortage of new homes, Wilson said.
The survey said most of the new houses and condominiums sold in the area are in the northeast Valley, in communities such as San Fernando, Sylmar, Arleta, Pacoima and Lake View Terrace. Canoga Park also showed substantial sales.
New houses in the Valley still seem to cost more than existing ones, although comparable figures weren't available. The average price of existing Valley houses sold in July was $182,500, according to the Valley Board of Realtors.
Moreover, the number of new homes is just a fraction of the overall market. For example, Valley realtors sold 1,339 houses in July.
Roulac also reported that 474 new condominiums were sold in the three months ended in late July, up 25% from the same three months last year and up 58% from the previous quarter.
New Condos Less Costly
The median price of new condos was $92,600, up 4% over the previous three months but down 3% from a year earlier. By comparison, the average existing condo sold for $109,800 in July, according to the realtors' board.
There were 610 unsold new condos, up 37% from the preceding quarter but down 29% from a year earlier.
Roulac publishes its Residential Housing Survey quarterly, gathering data on new housing for several areas of California. The company defines the Valley as the area from North Hollywood to Calabasas.
Its research covers developments of 10 or more houses or condos, and only homes that have not been occupied or condos that recently were converted from apartments.