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NEW HOME SALES SHOW CONTINUED RECOVERY IN THE ANTELOPE VALLEY

 ANTELOPE VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Well-priced product and well-known builders continue their strong performance despite what is typically a slow time of the year because of the upcoming holiday season. New home sales during the third quarter of 1992 (September-November) totalled 668 units, according to The Competitive Housing Market Report just published by The Meyers Group, an independent marketing research and consulting firm. This represents an increase of 8.3 percent over last quarter's total of 617 units. Despite a 5.9 percent drop from this time last year, Antelope Valley sales activity has remained relatively stable for the past four quarters, not varying more than approximately 10 percent in either direction.
 The Antelope Valley is poised to sell 2,700 homes this year. This falls about 15 percent short of 1991's total but would be a big improvement over 1990's disastrous total of 2,207 units sold. "Stabilization of sales activity and home prices are critical to the Antelope Valley's continued recovery in new home sales," commented Steve Smiley, a consultant with The Meyers Group. "Buyers need to be reassured that there is value in purchasing a home in Antelope Valley. They don't expect to realize large gains from appreciation, but they're weary of declining values."
 The Antelope Valley continues to become more affordable. After four quarters of hovering between $133,900 and $134,900, the median base price for detached homes dropped to $129,990. This is the first time in four years that the median base price for single family homes has dipped below $130,000. During the third quarter 59.0 percent of detached home sales occurred below $130,000.
 This reduction in median base price is accompanied by a decrease in the median square footage, 1,657 square feet this quarter compared to last quarter's 1,734 square feet. Therefore, lower base price figures should not be construed as an erosion in home value, but rather a reflection of what home buyers want. "Buyers continue to list price as their primary consideration when purchasing a house, so they buy a smaller home because they can afford it," Smiley said.
 The Antelope Valley boasts a bright future. A commercial base is a key component to the success of residential development. And the Antelope Valley is getting its fair share of employment growth; 300 manufacturing jobs when Deluxe Corp. opens its check-printing plant; 800-plus job openings with the completion of Lancaster State Prison; and 3,000 jobs are expected when Lockheed completes the transfer of its Advanced Development Co. to Palmdale, Calif. These local jobs will be welcome to the valley that already houses an estimated 41,000 commuters.
 The Meyers Group is an independent marketing research and consulting firm which serves the real estate industry in the Western United States. The Competitive Housing Market Report is a quarterly publication.
 -0- 12/17/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Smiley or Mary Cameron of The Meyers Group, 818-501-8905/


CO: The Meyers Group ST: California IN: SU:

LS-BP -- LA020 -- 7750 12/17/92 14:15 EST
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Date:Dec 17, 1992
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