Home Sales for 1986 Highest in 7 Years

November 11, 1986|DANIEL AKST | Times Staff Writer

The San Fernando Valley Board of Realtors said Monday that, thanks largely to lower interest rates, its members sold more single-family houses and condominiums during the first 10 months of 1986 than in all of last year.

In fact, the board said, this year's sales volume already makes 1986 the best year since 1979, when a record 19,964 homes were sold. Through October of this year, Valley realtors had sold 13,955 homes, up from 13,140 for all of last year.

"This is the time of year when sales normally taper off," said board President Temmy Walker.

But, she said, continued low interest rates and heavy demand are keeping sales unusually high, although not high enough to surpass 1979's volume.

In October, the board said, the average sales price of an existing single-family house in the Valley was $178,700, down 1.9% from September but up 11.1% from a year earlier. Valley realtors sold 1,101 houses during October, down 2.5% from September but up 10.1% from a year earlier.

Condo Market Also Strong

The condo market remained strong, too. The average price, the board said, was $114,100. That was up 0.7% from September but down 5% from October, 1985. But Valley realtors sold 232 condos in October, up 10.5% from September and an increase of 58.9% from a year earlier.

"Lower interest rates unquestionably opened the floodgates to more home buyers," said Robert G. Adamson, the board's executive vice president. "That's why we've seen a renaissance, a rebirth of the condominium market over the last five months."

The board said that in most years, the number of houses and condos up for sale declines in the fall as part of the general slowing of residential real estate activity.

But this year, the board said, 576 condos were put up for sale in October. That was 6.5% more than in September and 44.7% more than in October, 1985.

There also was a 6.3% increase from September in the number of houses put up for sale--1,848. That was up 4.1% from October, 1985.

Nevertheless, the inventory of houses and condos for sale remained relatively low, the board said. A total of 5,682 houses and 2,015 condos were available through the Valley's roughly 8,400 realtors at the end of October.

The board assembles statistics on house and condo sales in the area from North Hollywood to Agoura, but its figures usually do not reflect new homes, which often are sold by the developers themselves. The figures also do not reflect the large number of houses and condos sold by their owners without using a realtor.

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