Average Price of Home in May Rises to Record $201,300, Up 4.1%

Times Staff Writer

The average price of a San Fernando Valley home hit a record in May of $201,300, up 14.5% from a year ago, the Valley Board of Realtors reported.

Jim Link, the board's executive vice president, said nearly 60 single-family homes were sold at more than $500,000 each, which caused the monthly average to increase by $8,000, or 4.1%, from April.

Condominiums also continued their strong comeback, as the average condo sold for $120,500 in May, up 2.5% from the $117,600 average in April.

A year ago the average condominium price was $113,700.

Demand for housing in the Valley was so strong in May that many single-family homes and condos sold before making the official list of properties for sale, said board President Steve Raynor.

"It's an incredible sellers' market," said Raynor. "Buyers are starved for homes to buy. Even with a low inventory, sales remain strong and the pressure on prices continues to build."

The 1,970 residences listed for sale represented the lowest level of new activity since 1975. This was 28% below the 10-year May average of 2,750.

Traditionally, May is the busiest month for new listings because many homeowners are trying to move by the fall.

Realtors sold 1,187 homes in May, down from 1,239 in April. The board attributed the slight drop in sales to rising interest rates and the limited supply of homes.

Because of the increasing price of homes, young couples and singles are increasingly looking to buy condominiums, the board said. Condos accounted for 19.5% of all May housing sales, compared with 17.7% in April, and 16.2% a year ago. May condo sales totaled 287, up from 266 in April and 264 in May 1986.

The total inventory of homes and condos listed for sale in May was 6,619, 16% lower than the inventory a year earlier. The average listing in May for the last three years is 8,460.

The Valley board, California's largest, reports sales of houses and condos by its 8,100 members in the area from North Hollywood to Agoura. Its statistics do not include most new residences, which are generally sold without a real estate agent, or existing homes that are sold by their owners.

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