Experts pessimistic about local housing market

The local real estate market continued to slide in October with the brunt of the bad news coming from Burbank, where the average home sale price tumbled by more than $82,000 compared to the same period last year, according to the latest real estate figures.

And at just 57 homes on the market, the number of new listings plummeted nearly 50% in Burbank. The average price was $423,409, down from $505,587 in October 2010, according to real estate statistics compiled by Keith Sorem, a Realtor with Keller Williams in Glendale.

The average home sale price in Glendale was $475,505 in October, down from $555,295 last year. New listings decreased from 83 a year ago to 66 last month.

Bank-owned homes and short sales — in which lenders let homeowners sell their houses for less than they owe on their mortgages — made up about a third of total sales in Glendale and Burbank.

“The market seems to be proceeding downward,” Sorem said.

Paul Habibi, real estate professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, said the silver lining in recent data shows that fewer homeowners are delinquent on their mortgages.

If that trend continues, the inventory of distressed homes will drop and home prices should rebound, he said.

In the La Crescenta-Montrose area, new sales slid to 15 in October, down from 29 in October 2010.

That’s a bad sign, Sorem said.

“Interest rates are low, prices are down and you’re selling only half as many homes?” he said. “That’s not good.”

About 60% of homes that did sell were distressed, according to the figures.

The average home sale price was $454,648 in October, dropping from $541,782 the same period last year.

In La Cañada Flintridge, the average sale price also declined, from more than $1.2 million in October 2010 to about $1 million last month.

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