Leon Worden | SCVNews.com 
Santa Clarita Valley home prices were flat in November as the resale price of the typical, previously owned home averaged $360,000 and the typical condominium sold for $197,000, according to Wednesday’s data from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
Home values haven’t moved appreciably over the last two years, languishing at what appears to be the bottom of a multi-year cycle. Prices moved steadily upward until 2005-06 and then started to tumble.
November’s single-family home price was $20,000 better than the year-ago price of $340,000 but off markedly from November 2010′s median price of $415,000.
Few sellers are willing to take their chances, and inventory is at a record low. Just 267 single-family homes were listed for sale in November versus 723 in November 2011, while 65 condos were listed versus 316 a year ago. There were 10 percent fewer listings just in the last month.
“The homes that closed escrow (in November) have been in the works for months, and the sales total does not fully reflect demand from buyers,” said Erika Kauzlarich-Bird, president of SRAR’s Santa Clarita Valley Division.
One hundred sixty-seven single family homes closed escrow in November versus 198 in November 2011. A few more condos changed hands (78 versus 65 a year ago), but at slightly lower prices because of the preponderance of short sales. Sixty-one percent were short sales, where the bank agrees to a lower price than what’s owed on a defaulted loan.
SRAR CEO Jim Link noted that debt forgiveness on short sales expires on December 31. Realtors are asking Congress to extend it.
“The local housing market is doing just fine and will continue to improve in 2013 if Congress does its job and avoids making drastic changes,” Link said in a statement. “Keeping the tax deductibility of interest on home loans and extending tax debt forgiveness in short sales are critically important if housing is to fully recover.”