Home sale prices in Burbank continued to rise last month as the number of bank-owned and short-sale properties put on the market dropped dramatically from a year ago, according to local real estate statistics.
Last month Burbank saw only five properties sold in short sales — transactions where lenders allow owners to sell homes for less than they owe on their mortgages — compared to 32 in July 2012, according to data compiled by Eric Benz with Dilbeck Real Estate Real Living in Burbank.
The number of foreclosed properties for sale also declined, with two going on the market last month compared to five at this time last year.
Meanwhile, the median price of a single-family home in Burbank climbed to $595,000 compared to $470,000 a year ago, an increase of about 26.5%.
For condominiums, the median price was $363,000, a 17.1% jump from $310,000 in July 2012.
“Because values have increased, now people can get out of their houses without having to short-sell,” said Christopher Rizzotti, a broker with Rizzotti Realty Co. in Burbank.
“I can’t remember the last time I saw a foreclosure, and short sales seem to be a thing of the past. They’ve been eclipsed by the prices going up,” he continued.
Real estate prices in Burbank appear tied to a low inventory of homes for sale that is forcing buyers to compete against each other with higher offers.
“I’m working with a number of buyers, and whenever we place an offer on a property, there’s always three to seven offers on that same property,” said Rizzotti, adding that many buyers have succeeded by offering all-cash deals.
There were 104 single-family homes for sale in Burbank last month, a 41.2% decrease from 177 in July 2012, according to Benz, who is also president of the Burbank Assn. of Realtors.
There were 38 condos listed last month versus 76 in July 2012, a 50% drop.
Rizzotti said he expects the market to loosen up a bit later this year, as buyers with families may be less likely to want to move while school is in session and during the holidays. More inventory could also hit the market by early next year as current price increases convince more owners to sell, he added.
While increasing mortgage interest rates are a concern for potential homebuyers, higher loan costs are, at this point, more likely to lower the amount buyers are willing to borrow than keep them from buying at all, said Rizzotti, a past president of the Burbank Assn. of Realtors.
According to Benz, the threat of higher rates has not slowed the market and may actually be helping to fuel demand by prodding reluctant potential buyers to act quickly or risk being priced out of the market.
Rizzotti believes the median home price in Burbank has also gotten a boost from increasing sales of high-end homes.
“When you get a few million-dollar sales in a neighborhood, others see those sales and then suddenly there’s a [for-sale] sign out in their yard,” he said. “I haven’t seen as many million-dollar sales since four or five years ago.”
Follow Joe Piasecki on Twitter: @JoePiasecki.