Bank-owned Glendale properties drop out of market

The number of foreclosed homes that sold in the Glendale region plummeted in November to only a handful, according to the latest real estate figures

Four bank-owned properties sold last month, a dramatic decline from 23 in November 2011, according to statistics compiled by Realtor Keith Sorem with Keller Williams in Glendale.

In the La Crescenta-Montrose area, only one bank-owned property sold in November, compared to six the same month last year.

Broker Hamlet Nersesian, who owns Armex Realty in Glendale, said the drop in bank-owned properties for sale is a mystery.

“I don’t know why the banks aren’t putting those properties on the open market to sell,” said Nersesian, a board member for the Glendale Assn. of Realtors.

The number of short sales, where a lender lets a homeowner sell the property for less than they owe on the mortgage, remained steady at 15 in Glendale, but in La Crescenta, they declined from seven in November 2011 to just one last month.

Sorem said the drop in bank-owned properties selling may be tied to the fact that banks are doing more loan modifications.

Nersesian said banks may be holding onto the foreclosed homes and condos because they’re waiting for median prices to go higher, a trend that’s been seen locally during the past four months.

Median prices continued to improve with single-family homes seeing their median price rise from $569,000 in November 2011 to $608,000 last month.

The median price for a condo, meanwhile, climbed to $308,000 from $230,000.

Sorem said he sees home values rising for a few months, then declining a bit.

“The overall weak economy is simply not providing enough lift to shift values permanently, just in short bursts,” Sorem said.

Nersesian predicted that more foreclosed homes and condos will go on the market in the spring.

Looking at other market trends, the number of single-family homes and condominiums for sale continued to languish when compared to the same period last year.

There were 88 homes on the market last month, a 46% drop from 164 homes in November 2011.

The number of condos for sale took an even bigger hit, dropping from 102 in November 2011 to just 26 last month — a 74% fall.

The number of homes and condos sold also declined.

Forty-four homes sold last month, a 12% dip from the 50 last year.

Condos reported a heftier pushback with 25 sold last month, compared to 39 sold in November 2011.

Nersesian said the shortage of inventory is resulting in bidding wars on the few homes that land on the market.

In the past two months, he made offers on 10 homes that had multiple offers and lost all of them to other buyers because the environment is so competitive.

In La Crescenta, 21 homes were on the market — a nearly 60% decrease — and nine homes were sold, a drop of 40%.

The median price skyrocketed, though, from $482,000 in November 2011 to $659,000.

In La Cañada Flintridge, there were 42 homes on the market. At the same time, the number of homes that sold jumped from nine in November 2011 to 23 last month.

The median price of a home also jumped to $1.5 million in November, up from $1.05 million during the same period last year.


Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam.

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