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July Home Prices Lowest Since '87 : Real estate: The number of sales drops 13% from a year ago. But some realtors say figures show that market has bottomed out for some houses.

August 15, 1995|JILL LEOVY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The average sale price of a single-family home in the San Fernando Valley was the lowest for the month of July since 1987, while the number of homes sold declined by 13% compared to the same month last year.

The average resale price of a single-family home in July was $218,600, down slightly from the average price of $223,400 last year. The July average was also nearly 4% lower than June's average sale price of $227,100.

In July, the median sales price also fell 7% to $172,500, compared to $185,000 a year ago, according to figures released by the San Fernando Valley Assn. of Realtors. (The median price is the point at which half the houses sold for less and half for more.)

Pat A. Zicarelli, president of the realtors' group, said that the July stats show "resale prices have bottomed out in certain price ranges."

Beyond this, bright spots in the July housing market were scarce. A total of 941 single-family homes closed escrow in July, down from 1,060 in July last year, and about even with 945 sold in June.

Zicarelli said sales activity typically falls off beginning in July.

Also, the earthquake last year caused many sales to be pushed back to midsummer, inflating last year's figures, said Jim Link, executive vice president of the association.

"Once the statistical effect of the quake vanishes, we may find that 1995 home resale activity is a lot stronger than the common perception," Link said.

A total of 8,502 properties--6,672 homes and 1,830 condominiums--were listed for sale on the association's listing service, up 2% from last year.

Sales of condos increased in July: 176 closed escrow, up from 134 in the same month a year earlier. But the July figure was slightly lower than last month's resale figure of 184. Meanwhile, the median price of a condo fell 23% in July to $92,000 from $119,000 in July, 1994.

In July the average sale price of a condominium was $101,500, down from $115,900 in July, 1994.

The Valley realty association, the largest in California, reports housing sales by its 7,200 members form North Hollywood to Calabasas.

Its figures do not include sales of new residences.

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