Burbank home prices continue surge

Home prices in Burbank continued to surge last month, with sharp price increases since February as a severely limited number of homes for sale has created fierce competition among buyers, according to the latest real estate report.

The median price for a single-family home rose roughly 19% from $502,500 in April 2012 to $600,000 last month, according to statistics compiled by Realtor Eric Benz with Dilbeck Real Estate in Burbank.

The median price for a condominium also increased, from $317,000 a year ago to $350,000 last month, a 10% increase.

Realtor Bryan Ochse, owner of Media West Realty in Burbank, said that prices are jumping dramatically because of the record-low housing inventory. It's gotten to the point where sellers are asking buyers to waive appraisals because quotes from appraisers aren't keeping up with overall selling prices, Ochse said.

"Obviously, sellers are taking advantage of getting high demand today and getting higher prices," he said.

Ochse said that as prices continue to rise, more inventory should come onto the market. And Burbank should stay high in demand, thanks to $110 million in improvements to the school system using funds from Measure S, which was approved by voters earlier this year.

The number of single-family homes for sale continued to be low compared to last year, with 111 on the market last month, a 44% decrease from 175 in April 2012.

There were 35 condos for sale, a roughly 62% drop from 93 a year ago.

Distressed homes and condos made up a smaller slice of the market. Six of them sold last month, making up around 10% of total sales, compared to 19 such sales in April 2012. Last year, the ratio was running around 30%.

Distressed sales include bank-owned properties and short sales, in which lenders let homeowners sell their homes for less than they owe on their mortgages.

Ochse said he thinks the market will straighten out in the coming months.

"Inventory inevitably will tick up and prices will stabilize," he said.


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