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  • Jason Tuvia

Valley Home Prices Hit Post-Recession High

San Fernando Valley home and condominium sales were flat in April but the median, single-family home price registered its highest number since the recession ended, according to a report from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors released Thursday.

There were 543 single-family homes that changed hands during the month, off half a percent from a year earlier, but up 1.1 percent over March. Condominium sales followed a similar pattern, with 181 deals closing escrow, off 1.1 percent from a year ago, yet up 8.4 percent from March.

The Valley’s median home price of $555,000 represents a 6.9 percent increase over last April and 3.4 percent higher than March – and was the highest price since 2007. But the pace of increases appear to be slowing: April was the first month to register a single-digit median gain after three years of double-digit monthly increases, said Gaye Rainey, the association’s president.

The median price of a condo in the Valley was $350,000 – up 12.2 percent year-over-year and the highest figure since September 2008.

Lack of inventory appeared to limit sales last month. After 19 consecutive months of year-to-year increases in inventory, April was the third consecutive month to see a decline, with 1,543 active listings. That’s off 3.5 percent from a year earlier and represents just a 2.1-month supply of housing on the market. Typically, a six-month supply is needed to balance the market between buyers and sellers.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, median home prices hit $500,000 – up 3.1 percent from a year ago but down 3.8 percent from March, when the median hit $520,000.

A total of 229 homes closed escrow in April, up 9 percent over a year ago and 9.6 percent ahead of March. The pace of condominium sales in Santa Clarita also surged, with 92 transactions completed – up 4.5 percent year-over-year and 33.3 percent ahead of March.

“We’re seeing strong buyer interest along with improving inventory, which releases upward pressure on prices and results in more moderate price increases,” Bob Khalsa, president of the association’s Santa Clarita division, said in a prepared statement.

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