Housing stock down, sales up in Glendale

Significantly more single-family homes and condominiums sold in Glendale last month compared to August 2011, but the number of homes on the market continues to dwindle, which may be driving up median prices for condos and higher-end properties, according to the latest real estate figures.

Sixty-four single-family homes sold last month, a 45.5% jump from the 44 homes sold in August last year, according to statistics compiled by Realtor Keith Sorem with Keller Williams Real Estate in Glendale.

At the same time, the number of homes on the market dropped 40% to 111.

The number of condos on the market saw an even steeper decline, from 160 in August 2011 to just 51 last month — a 68% slide.

Rick Barnes, a broker with Real Estate One in Glendale, said the housing inventory continues to dry up.

“I don’t remember it being this tight,” said Barnes, who has been in the real estate business for 30 years.

He said that as median home prices edged up this spring, banks started releasing more short sales onto the market, driving prices back down.

The median price for a home in Glendale dropped from $645,000 to $615,000 last month, but the median price for condos increased from $246,000 to $277,000.

Bank-owned homes and short sales — where a lender lets a homeowner sell for less than they owe on the mortgage — made up about 31% of total sales last month, according to the latest report, a decrease from almost 38% compared to the same time last year. Short sales alone made up about 20% of total sales.

Barnes also said that more million-dollar homes are selling in Glendale after waiting in the wings to go on the market because the permit process for improvements is strict and can be lengthy — much more so than in Burbank.

However, homes valued at more than a $1 million are actually selling for much less, which masks the true median price for mid-range homes, said Barnes, who is president-elect of the Glendale Assn. of Realtors.

Appearing to buck that trend was La Cañada Flintridge, where the median price for a home rose to $1.15 million last month, an increase from around $1.14 million in August 2011, according to Sorem’s report. In July, the median was under the $1-million mark.

Barnes said there are still a lot of investors snatching up short sales and good deals by paying cash. However, he added that some of the those investors are actually taking out loans from other investors, fixing up the home — sometimes with poor quality and non-permitted materials — and selling it to pay back the loan and make a healthy profit.

“It’s really an unusual market,” Barnes said.

In the La Crescenta-Montrose area, the number of homes for sale plummeted from 93 in August 2011 to 43 last month, a dive of almost 54%. The number of homes sold, though, jumped 59% to 35.

The number of condominiums listed for sale edged down from 17 in August of last year to 14 last month, while the number of condos sold rose from two to six.

The median price of a home slid from $548,000 in August 2011 to $525,000 last month, but the median price for a condo rocketed from just $176,000 to $305,000.


Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam


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