Home prices take a dip

The local real estate market took a wild ride in July. The average length of time a home stayed on the market in Glendale grew by a month compared to the previous year, from 3.5 months to 4.5 months, according to Keller Williams Realty, which tracks local real estate statistics.

The rise was caused by a jump in new listings, combined with a drop in new sales, said Keith Sorem, a Keller Williams Realtor who compiles local real estate information every month.

There were 129 new listings in July, up from 106 the same time a year ago. New sales dropped from 87 in July 2010 to 75 last month.

Also, the average residential sale price in Glendale took a big hit in July, plunging by $164,165 compared to a year ago. The average price was $452,614 last month, down from $616,779 in July 2010, according to the Keller Williams report.

Sorem said an abundance of smaller homes were sold in July, pushing down the average price. The average size of a home sold in July was 1,375 square feet, and seven of the homes were less than 1,000 square feet.

At the same time, the number of deals involving bank-owned homes jumped from seven to 17, according to Sorem.

In Burbank, the news was not as dramatic. The average sale price was $502,224 in July, compared to $508,132 a year ago. The number of bank-owned properties involved in transactions grew from nine to 13.

The number of new listings dropped by 14 in Burbank, from 85 to 71. And there were 63 new sales in July, up from 51 the same time a year ago.

Short sales, in which lenders let owners sell their homes for less than what they owe on their mortgage, rose from eight to 11 in Burbank, but dropped from 16 to 12 in Glendale.

Sorem said cities across Southern California are reporting the same volatility reported in Glendale last month, but what surprised him most was the spike in bank-owned homes that were sold.

“This could be a one-time thing,” Sorem said. “We’ll just have to see what happens next month.”

Paul Habibi, real estate professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management agreed. He said the steep drop in median home prices is also probably an anomaly.

He added that because banks are lifting their foreclosure moratoriums and they are starting to get distressed houses off their books, more bank-owned properties are going to be sold.

In the La Crescenta-Montrose area, the average sale price was $614,167, an increase from $587,094 for the same time last year. Thirty new sales were reported last month, a slight decline from 32 in July 2010. New listings also decreased, from 45 in July 2010 to 41 last month.

In La Cañada Flintridge, the average residential sale price was $1.17 million in July, a slight dip from $1.19 million the year before, according to Sorem’s report. There were 33 new sales in July, up from 26 last year.

New listings saw a drop, from 26 in July 2010 to 21 last month.

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