Sales of Existing Houses Plunge 22% in November


The housing slump continued last month as sales of existing single-family houses in the San Fernando Valley plummeted 22% between October and November, according to figures released Monday by the San Fernando Valley Board of Realtors.

It was a disappointing month after sales of single-family houses had spurted 25% from September to October. But after that short-lived improvement, only 603 existing single-family houses changed hands in November, down from 776 in October. The slowdown in sales was even more pronounced when compared to a year ago; house sales have tumbled 38% since November, 1989.

The sluggish sales seemed to contribute to a softening of prices. The average resale price of a single-family house fell 3% to $280,200 in November from $288,000 in October. Meanwhile, the average price in November had dropped 11% from $313,100 a year earlier.

Because of the poor housing market, there was a sharp drop in the number of new houses put up for sale in November, which helped trim the inventory of unsold houses in the Valley. New listings of single-family houses fell 26% to 1,665 in November from 2,241 in October. A total of 9,930 houses were for sale in November, a 6% decline from 10,512 listed in October.


But the inventory of houses for sale last month was still 9% higher than a year ago, when 9,089 single-family houses were for sale.

The market for condominiums was also poor in November, as sales fell 20% to 214 from 269 in October. Condo sales have plummeted 44% from 383 in November, 1989.

The average resale price of a condo fell 5% in November to $148,800 from $156,000 in October, and has declined 4% from $154,200 in November, 1989.

The Valley realty board, California’s largest, reports housing sales by its members in the area from Agoura to North Hollywood. Its statistics do not include sales of most new residences.


NORTH WEST Avg. Price: $299,600 Sales: 33

NORTH CENTRAL Avg. Price: $295,000 Sales: 81

NORTH EAST Avg. Price: $182,900 Sales: 132


SOUTH WEST Avg. Price: $331,800 Sales: 136

SOUTH CENTRAL Avg. Price: $301,100 Sales: 79

SOUTH EAST Avg. Price: $296,200 Sales: 142