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Burbank home sales still falling

The number of single-family houses on the market in Burbank remained sparse last month, but the number of condominiums for sale held steady, according to the latest real estate figures.

There were 128 single family homes on the market last month, down 35% from 198 in April 2011, according to statistics compiled by the Burbank Assn. of Realtors.

But there were 40 condominiums for sale in April, the same number for sale during April last year.

Realtor Linda Barnes with Keller Williams in Burbank said that the lack of housing stock on the market is resulting in busy open houses and multiple offers.


She said she thinks the trend will start to change once potential sellers realize there are eager buyers out there.

Even if more houses are put up for sale, there are other factors that impact the real estate market.

Lenders are still hesitant to approve loans, even to people with good credit.

“I think banks are making it extraordinarily difficult because they are requiring so much documentation,” Barnes said.


The number of homes sold declined from 34 in April 2011 to 21 last month. The median price also dipped, from $490,850 to $490,000.

Only four condos sold last month, down from nine the same period in 2011. The median price moved up, though, from $312,120 in April 2011 to $317,000 last month.

The ratio of bank-owned properties compared to total sales sold dropped last month to 25% from about 66.7% in April of last year.

Home appraisals have been slow to rebound because bank-owned homes and short sales — where a lender lets a homeowner sell their property for less than they owe on their mortgage — have been calculated into them.

Appraisals are starting to increase now as fewer distressed properties are on the market, Barnes said.

“Just in the last five months, we’ve seen [homes] actually appraise at what the property is worth,” she said.

Barnes, in the real estate business for 34 years, said she’s seen ups and downs in the market before, but she’s never before experienced such a sluggish recovery.

She said home prices rose for such an extended period of time that once they dropped, they stayed down longer than usual.


Still, she remained optimistic that the turnaround will continue to gain traction.

“We’re past the bottom,” she said. “We’re on the rise.”