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San Fernando Valley home prices hit a record high in 2017

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At year’s end, only 819 homes were on the market

Aerial view of San Fernando Valley
Less than 1,000 homes in the entire San Fernando Valley were on the market at the close of 2017.
Trekandshoot | Shutterstock

Home prices in the San Fernando Valley reached an all-time high in 2017, according to a new report from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

The median price of all single-family residences sold in the region last year was $643,783. That’s a 7.3 percent increase over a year earlier, and more than $30,000 higher than the previous record of $611,931, set in 2007—just prior to the Great Recession.

Price records were shattered across Los Angeles county last year, with the median price reaching $575,000 for three consecutive months, according to real estate data tracker CoreLogic. In the Valley, median home values were even higher, and may have been particularly affected by historically low inventory.

In December, the total number of homes for sale across the region fell to just 819—dipping below 1,000 residences for the second time since SRAR has been tracking sales in the region.

By comparison, nearly 15,000 homes were on the market in July of 1992, when inventory was at its highest recorded point.

With so few homes to choose from, buyers are paying a premium for anything they can get their hands on.

“Even with record prices, people clamor for housing more than ever,” says SRAR president Gary Washburn, “yet there simply are not enough homes listed for sale.”

Why are sellers so reluctant to list their homes? Tim Johnson, CEO of the association, speculates that some homeowners may be waiting to see what effect recent federal tax cuts will have on the market. Others may simply be hesitant to enter the market as buyers.

“Current owners also are wary about finding another home due to the region’s severe housing shortage,” Johnson says.

The high-cost market isn’t limited to single-family homes. Condo prices also broke records in 2017, with the median unit selling for $410,367—a 10 percent bump over the year before.

Like houses in the Valley, condos for sale aren’t very plentiful. Only 110 units were listed on the market at the close of last year.