Housing market in Burbank continues to tighten

More single-family homes sold last month compared to August 2011, but the number of homes on the market continues to dwindle, according to the latest real estate figures.

Forty-eight homes were sold last month, a nearly 23% increase from 37 during the same time last year, according to statistics compiled by the Burbank Assn. of Realtors.

However, the number of houses on the market dropped to 122 last month, a 38% drop from the 198 in August 2011.

The median price also edged down slightly to $497,000 from $500,000.

Bank-owned homes and short sales — where a lender lets a homeowner sell a home for less than they owe on the mortgage — made up about 32.5% of total single-family home sales last month.

Elena Hubbell, a Realtor with Dilbeck Realtors in Burbank, said the number of short sales and foreclosures entering the market is remaining steady and probably won’t decline any time soon.

However, distressed homes, while getting multiple offers, are keeping median prices from rising.

“When people see a short sale, they assume they’re going to get a really good deal on it,” she said. “You may not see [a short sale] going as high as with a standard sale.”

The number of condominiums on the market also remained depressed. Twenty-four condos were for sale last month, a 45% decline compared to 44 in August 2011.

The number of condos sold dipped from eight in August of last year to seven last month.

The median price, though, rose from $257,500 to $270,000 in the year-to-year comparison.

There were only two distressed sales last month — one bank-owned property and one short sale — a great improvement from August of last year when nine distressed sales were reported, which was about 69% of total condo sales.

Hubbell, who is on the board of directors of the Burbank Assn. of Realtors, said she tells potential buyers that now is the time to make an offer due to low prices and interest rates.

However, because of the competitiveness of the local market — especially with standard sales — she cautions them to at least meet the asking price or go a little higher so they’ll stand out in the midst of multiple offers.

“You don’t assume you can get it cheaper,” she said.

-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam

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