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San Fernando Valley Home Prices Cool Off After Record-Setting Summer

After shattering records earlier this year, home prices in the San Fernando Valley have cooled off, according to a new report from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

The region’s median sale price for single-family homes was $678,000 in October, says the report. That’s considerably below the $708,000 median price recorded in May (and matched in August), which set an all-time record for the area.

Condo prices have also fallen off a bit since summer. The median price paid by condo buyers was $449,000 in July and August, a record-high. In October, a typical condo fetched $440,000.

“Home and condo prices appear to have plateaued,” Gary Washburn, the association’s president, said in a statement.

Washburn blames the dip in sale prices on “growing affordability concerns, questions about the economy, and steady increases in the number of homes listed for sale.”

In spite of rising inventory, both condos and single-family homes are still selling for more than they did at this time last year. The median price for houses is up 4.6 percent (from $648,000); for condos, prices are up 6 percent (from $415,000).

The number of single-family homes available for purchase is nearly 29 percent higher than it was a year ago. A low number of houses on the market has made the Valley a tough market for buyers in recent years.

In October, 1,601 homes were listed for sale in the region—roughly twice the number available to buyers in December, when just 819 homes were on the market. To put that into context, in July 1991 more than 14,000 homes were listed in the Valley.

Washburn says the fact that more people are selling is a good sign for those shopping for a home. But he cautions that the increase in supply is “certainly not enough to put buyers in charge.”

Tim Johnson, the association’s CEO, suggests that some homeowners may be eager to sell before rising interest rates price more potential buyers out of the market. That does give home shoppers one key advantage: It’s “possible that more sellers will be open to negotiating their asking price,” says Johnson.

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