In August, when residential sales typically slow down, the average price of a single-family home in the San Fernando Valley hit another record high and condominium sales and prices also surged, the Valley Board of Realtors reported.
August's average home price was a record $212,900, up slightly from July's average of $211,600. But the 1,230 homes sold in August marked a 1.2% decline from July, when 1,245 homes were sold.
By contrast, in the Valley condo market, the number of condos sold and the prices they commanded were both up. August's average condo price was $124,400, a 6.4% increase over July's average of $116,900. The 309 condos sold in August was a 6.9% increase over the 289 condos sold in July, and a 37% jump over the number of condos sold in August 1986.
'Condominium Sales Kept the Market Moving'
"We didn't see the drop-off of sales that traditionally appears during July and August," said Jim Link, the board's executive vice president. "Instead of a slackening pace, condominium sales kept the market moving," he said. The primary force behind the Valley's thriving real estate market is relatively low interest rates, the board said.
In the single-family home market, affluent buyers continue to snap up homes costing $300,000 or more, thereby pushing up the average price. Of the 1,230 homes sold in August, 210 cost more than $300,000. Fifty of those were sold for between $500,000 and $800,000.
"People with higher incomes who are relatively immune to minor interest rate increases continue to compete for a very limited number of single-family homes, pushing prices higher," Link said.
The same phenomenon is happening in the once-saturated condo market, only on a smaller scale. "Condos remain a good buy for the dollar," Link said. "Yet this is the first time we've seen big leaps in the average condo price since the market recovered from the recession."
The inventory of homes and condos for sale continues to fall. In August, 6,011 residences were on the market, down from 6,262 in July and 7,867 in August, 1986. "If you have to sell, you couldn't pick a better time to do it," Link said.
The Valley realty board, California's largest, reports sales of houses and condominiums by its members in the area from North Hollywood to Agoura. Its statistics do not include most new residences, which are generally sold without a real estate agent, or existing homes that are sold by their owners.
AUGUST VALLEY HOME SALES NORTHWEST Avg. Price: $195,700 Sales: 45 SOUTHWEST Avg. Price: $245,596 Sales: 302 NORTH CENTRAL Avg. Price: $213,100 Sales: 180 SOUTH CENTRAL Avg. Price: $249,200 Sales: 190 NORTHEAST Avg. Price: $121,700 Sales: 200 SOUTHEAST Avg. Price: $220,100 Sales: 313