The Real Deal Los Angeles

San Fernando Valley bracing for market cool down: report

Buyers gaining control with increasing housing stock
September 27, 2018 05:31PM

The San Fernando Valley real estate market may have “hit a wall” as buyers struggle to find affordable homes. (courtesy VRBO)

With buyers continuing to struggle to find affordable homes, the single-family market in the San Fernando Valley is cooling off and could soon transition to a buyer’s market, a new report contends.

A report earlier this month by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors explains how potential buyers have become hesitant to purchase while waiting to see if prices will drop after years of almost constant growth, the Daily News reported. Home sales from January through August have dropped 5.7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Tim Johnson, CEO of the association, said that as a result the Valley might transition to a buyer’s market with downward pressure on prices, due to increased inventory and fewer sales. The report said there were about 1,520 active home and condo listings, a 10.7-percent increase from a year ago. That represents its first double-digit increase in more than three years, giving buyers more properties to choose from.

Even still, the median price of homes and condos that closed escrow in the Valley during August reached record highs at $708,000 and $449,000, respectively.

Gary Washburn, president of the association, said that the Valley is still a sellers’ market, but affordability concerns and upticks in inventory have “given buyers a little bargaining leeway.”

Meanwhile, the median price of a Los Angeles County home was $615,000 in August, an increase from $575,000 last year. L.A. County home prices rose 7 percent in August compared to the same month in 2017. In Orange County, the median price was $727,000 last month, up 6 percent from August 2017. [Los Angeles Daily News] – Gregory Cornfield