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Home values continue their slide

Home prices in Burbank continued their slide in December compared to the same period a year earlier, but agents said they’re hopeful that 2012 would bring better market conditions.

The median price for a single-family home was $510,000 last month, down from $520,000 in December 2010, according to statistics compiled by the Burbank Assn. of Realtors.

The number of homes sold also decreased, from 30 in December 2010 to 26 last month.

Bank-owned properties made up about 34.6% of total single-family homes sold, down from 43.3% a year ago.


New listings also dropped from 28 in December 2010 to 16 last month.

In previous real estate reports, information about single-family homes and condominiums was combined. Beginning this month, the stats will separate those two types of residences.

The median price for a condo in Burbank dropped from $320,000 in December of 2010, to $210,000 last month. Part of the reason for the decline was that only two condos sold in December 2011 and both of them were bank-owned. Six sold the year prior.

Condos, on average, stayed on the market for 46 days last month, a plunge from 74 days in December 2010, according to the association.


Low housing inventory and high demand aren’t leading to an increase in home prices, said Mike Napolitano, branch manager of Dilbeck Real Estate in Burbank.

A boost in consumer confidence would be a strong indicator that the housing market will start to turn around and prices will increase, he said, adding that he thinks 2012 could be a turning point.

“We’d be happy with a 2% rise at the end of December 2012,” he said.

Last year in December, the median single-family home price declined about 2%, compared to December 2010.

A major issue facing some home sellers is an approaching deadline to replace all wood-shingled roofs in Burbank by August with material that is less fire-prone. It’s part of a nearly two-decade-old ordinance passed by the City Council.

Napolitano said he and other Realtors are working with city officials to extend the deadline, possibly by 10 years, giving sellers more time to either replace their roofs or hopefully see a turnaround in the economy.

Burbank fire officials estimate there are 120 houses in the city that have wood-shingled roofs, but Napolitano said there may be many more —perhaps thousands — with wood roofs that have been covered over with other types of shingles.

When the law was passed in 1992, no one expected a drawn-out economic downturn, Napolitano said. With the existing deadline, home sellers with wood-shingle roofs have two choices: replace the roof themselves, which can cost between $15,000 and $20,000, or knock down the selling price to help cover the cost of roof replacement by the new owner.


Realtors plan to bring a proposal to extend the wood-shingle roof deadline to the City Council next month, Napolitano said.