Glendale, Burbank home market still stalled

A lack of consumer confidence and high number of homeowners who owe more on their homes than they're worth continue to keep the housing market from making a recovery. But burgeoning buyer demand is leading to bidding wars that are pushing up median sale prices in some areas, according to the latest data.

The median price for a single-family home in Glendale rose from $646,000 in June 2011 to $672,000 last month, according to statistics compiled by Realtor Keith Sorem, with Keller Williams Realty in Glendale.

Contributing to that trend is the fact that despite higher demand among buyers, there are fewer homes on the market. The housing inventory in Glendale shrank 31.4% last month, with just 118 houses on the market compared to 172 during the same period last year.

The number of homes sold dipped by 8% last month to 46.

Rose Linda Gonzales, a Realtor with Dilbeck Real Estate in La Cañada Flintridge, said potential buyers are facing healthy competition in the market, sometimes from investors who are willing to make all-cash transactions.

She said some buyers, particularly first-timers, can get frustrated when they get knocked out of the purchasing game multiple times. However, she tells them that this is the time to make an investment for the future.

“The buyers are realizing they had better hop on it and buy something,” she said.

The key, Gonzales said, is that more homes are priced reasonably, compared to last year.

It's much of the same in Burbank, where demand also is far outstripping supply, Realtors report.

There were 119 single-family homes for sale last month compared to 202 in June 2011, according to statistics compiled to the Burbank Assn. of Realtors.

At the same time, the median price in Burbank jumped to $550,000 from $505,400 in June of last year. Likewise, the number of homes sold climbed to 49 last month.

There were 12 condominiums for sale last month, compared to 21 in June 2011. For the 11 that sold last month, the median price rose by almost 15% to $310,000.

Bank-owned homes made up about 33% of total sales of single-family homes and 36% of condominiums sold.

In Glendale, there was an even more drastic drop in available condos.

Fifty-three condos were on the market last month, an almost 58% drop from the 125 in June 2011.

The number of condos that did sell slid by two to 32, with the median price edging down to $282,000.

Sorem said he doesn't see inventories improving any time soon, particularly because so many people are jittery about the economy and are under water on their homes.

“They're all prisoners,” he said.

Bank-owned homes and short sales, where lenders let homeowners sell their homes for less than they owe on their mortgage, continued to make up a good portion of the total ratio of homes sold, coming in at almost 43.5% last month.

Eric Benz, a Realtor with Dilbeck Real Estate in Burbank, agreed that more homes are getting multiple offers and pointed out that potential buyers with FHA loans can have an especially difficult time purchasing homes when they go up against buyers who want to pay with cash or have large down payments.

Still, they have options, such as finding homes whose listings have expired, or that have not yet been listed, said Benz, who is president-elect of the Burbank Assn. of Realtors.

He also said FHA buyers are more likely to wait for a short sale to be approved by a lender than a buyer who wants to make a quick all-cash purchase.

In the La Crescenta-Montrose area, the number of single-family homes for sale tanked from 118 in June of last year to just 44 last month — a 63% drop.

The median price also decreased by almost $100,000 to $495,000. And the number of homes sold declined 18% to 23.

In La Cañada, the number of homes sold also dropped, from 31 in June 2011 to 21 last month.

The median price also dropped below $1 million last month to $950,000.


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