• Santa Clarita's inventory has been below two months for at least the past 13 months.
  • The market represents one Los Angeles sub-region where homebuilders are active.
  • December was a strong month for closings.

Last year represented the best 12-month period for Santa Clarita Valley home sales and values since 2006 and 2007, respectively.

According to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors (SRAR), a total of 2,451 single-family homes sold in Santa Clarita last year. The annual sales total equated to a nearly 10 percent year-over-year jump.

The area had a surprisingly strong December, where 238 homes sold, adding late in the game to last year’s success.

Jim Link, CEO of SRAR, attributed the strong month to the volume of homes that went into escrow during mid-October and November. Additionally, a number of buyers and sellers, for tax reasons, were eager to close before year’s end.

Sales activity rose while the annual median price increased by more than 8 percent to $510,542. This increases was indicative of a stronger economy and a market with minimal supply, as Santa Clarita entered 2015 with only 1.7 months of inventory.

New listings needed in Santa Clarita Valley

Entering 2016, inventory had dropped to 1.3 months of supply. This lack of inventory, coupled with affordability issues, is predicted to limit increases in the market’s sales volume and pricing this year.

“The pool of prospective buyers who can make payments and pay property taxes continues to shrink,” Link said. “The market needs more active listings, but that’s not likely to happen unless there is a recession.”

A portion of listings that do hit the market will be homes where the owner is moving out and purchasing a newly-built home. Link notes that in Valencia and Stevenson Ranch, the area’s master-planned communities, homebuilders are active.

Investors that purchased single-family homes, with intentions to rent them, back when pricing was lower and inventory was larger are not likely to sell this year. According to Link, the demand for rental homes and current asking rents will influence these owners to hold onto their properties rather than cash out.

Of note, 1,104 condos sold in Santa Clarita last year marking the second highest annual volume of transactions in the past nine years. At the same time, the annual median price of a condo rose nearly 13 percent year-over-year to $314,500.

Email Erik Pisor

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