Home prices continue to climb in Burbank

Home prices in Burbank rose again last month, continuing a trend where a dearth of homes for sale has created heated competition among buyers, according to the latest real estate report.

The median price for a single-family home climbed roughly 10%, from $544,500 in June 2012 to $598,750 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 $320,000 a year ago to $415,000 last month, an increase of roughly 29%.

Realtor Marion Goodman, a member of the Burbank Assn. of Realtors board, said that although prices were still rising last month, she's starting to see the market flatten out.

"There's a plateau that we've reached, and I hope it's just temporary," she said.

Goodman said a number of factors could be contributing to the market's leveling off, including first-time buyers who are taking a step back from buying aspirations because they have seen their offers rejected in favor of all-cash transactions.

"It does something to your psyche. You think you're making a good offer and then you get beat by all-cash buyers," she said. "It's a tough market for first-time buyers right now."

Goodman said a majority of the sales her office saw last month were cash purchases.

The number of single-family homes for sale continued to be low compared to last year, with 90 on the market last month, a 50% decline from 180 in June 2012.

There were 41 condos for sale, a drop of roughly 44% from 73 a year ago.

As values continue to increase, however, Goodman said she expects to see more inventory come onto the market as homeowners who might have been underwater – a situation in which a home's mortgage balance exceeds the home's actual value — can now sell without losing money.

"The people that were underwater and, suddenly, they can start breathing, they're putting their homes on the market," she said.

Distressed homes and condos made up a smaller slice of the market. Eighteen of them sold last month, making up around 22% of total sales, compared to 36 such sales in June 2012. Last year, the ratio was running around one in three, or 36%.

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.


Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.


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