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San Fernando Valley home prices soar to $708K

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Houses in the area have never been this expensive

Midcentury ranch house in the Valley
May’s median home price in the San Fernando Valley was $708,000.
Photo by Liz Kuball

San Fernando Valley single-family home prices hit a new all-time high in May, reaching a median cost of $708,000, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

That’s up 1.6 percent since the month before and more than 11 percent since May 2017.

Average home prices are also significantly higher—$887,500. That’s 8.6 percent above the average in May of last year.

“If a home is coming onto the market priced properly, it’s going to have multiple offers very quickly,” says Ralph Odierna, branch manager at Coldwell Banker Sherman Oaks.

That’s stressful for prospective buyers, who have less time to consider whether a home is right for them.

“They often have to make a decision on the spot,” Odierna says.

There is a small silver lining for home shoppers; the number of houses on the market went up last month, giving buyers more options to choose from. More than 1,000 homes were available for sale by the end of May—nearly 10 percent more than a year before.

A lack of choices for buyers has contributed to skyrocketing home prices throughout Southern California since 2012. Despite rising mortgage interest rates, demand from buyers is high and supply hasn’t kept up, says Southland Regional Association of Realtors president Gary Washburn.

“Home prices keep climbing above what many home shoppers are able to afford,” says Washburn in a statement.

That’s contributed to a decline in overall sales. The number of homes that closed escrow in May was down more than 10 percent since a year earlier.

Sales of condos have also dwindled, but prices haven’t increased nearly as dramatically. May’s median sale price was up just 0.2 percent over a year ago, and down 3.4 percent since April.

Odierna says condo prices in the area may have leveled off due to buyer preferences.

“A lot of these are older buildings,” he says. “In Downtown or Koreatown, buyers might be more interested in condos, but in the San Fernando Valley we have a lot of people who just want that house with a white picket fence.”