The average price of a single-family house in the San Fernando Valley reached a record $223,400 in January, up from $221,100 in December, the San Fernando Valley Board of Realtors reported Monday.
High prices caused a flood of homeowners to put their houses on the market. In January, the number of new listings jumped 72.5% to 1,704 houses, contrasted with 988 in December. "I think owners have gotten the message that if they need to sell, now is a great time to do it," said Tom Carnahan, the board's president.
Condominiums Below Record
Condominiums did not perform as well. The average sale price did climb 3.7% to $124,500 in January, from $120,100 in December. But it was a far cry from the record average of $144,900 set in November.
The number of condominiums coming on the market in January was up 49.5% to 553 units, contrasted with 370 in December.
"Traditionally, this is the time of year when listings start to take off," said Carnahan. "But falling interest rates and a hot seller's market also appear to be prompting owners to put their homes on the market."
Carnahan said a rise in listings could help lower home prices in the area.
Actual Sales Down
Although other indicators were up, actual house sales were down in comparison with December. The 851 houses sold in January were 4.9%, or 44 houses, short of December's results, and 12.4%, or 121, houses below the results posted in January, 1987.
There were 219 condominiums sold last month, down from 267 units sold in December, but up slightly from the 216 units sold a year ago.
"There are fewer homes for sale, which is what I think accounts for a drop in the number of homes sold," Carnahan said.
The inventory of available houses and condominiums is still low. In January, there were 3,952 houses for sale contrasted with 4,458 a year ago. The number of condominiums for sale in January was 1,647, as opposed to 1,730 a year ago.
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.
Avg. Price: $216,900
Avg. Price: $242,500
Avg. Price: $131,800
Avg. Price: $265,861
Avg. Price: $260,900
Avg. Price: $220,000