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NEW HOME INVENTORY LEVELS DROP HAND IN HAND WITH SALES IN THE ANTELOPE VALLEY

 NEW HOME INVENTORY LEVELS DROP HAND IN HAND
 WITH SALES IN THE ANTELOPE VALLEY
 ANTELOPE VALLEY, Calif., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- New home sales in the Antelope Valley fell 20 percent during the second quarter of 1992 (June - August) from the first quarter of 1992 (March - May), according to The Competitive Housing Market Report just published by The Meyers Group, an independent marketing research and consulting firm. A total of 617 new attached and detached housing units were sold this quarter, compared to 773 sales in the previous quarter. Furthermore, compared to the second quarter of 1991, sales this quarter decreased 28 percent. "The lackluster sales figures for the area can largely be attributed to the ongoing California recession and the upcoming presidential election. These factors perpetuate consumer uncertainty and drop consumer confidence levels," commented Steve LaTerra, a consultant with The Meyers Group.
 Despite sluggish sales results, inventory levels continued a 2 1/2 year trend and decreased 9 percent from last quarter (1,132 units compared to 1,240 units in the first quarter), resulting in the lowest inventory level since the third quarter 1989, the point at which the market turned. Compared to the same quarter a year ago, inventory is down more than 20 percent. "This general trend may indicate that financing constraints have limited new product introductions in the area," LaTerra said. This quarter only four new projects opened for sales in the Antelope Valley, whereas 12 sold out. At current absorption rates, existing inventory levels represent a 24-week housing supply.
 While global, social and economic factors have negatively impacted sales in the Antelope Valley, local influences have similarly affected the market. "Aging inventories, local defense industry employment cuts and the recent heat wave have combined to limit buyer traffic levels and sales," stated LaTerra. New product introductions and well-known builders continue to perform well in the Antelope Valley market despite the general market slowdown.
 It should be noted that price reductions and other incentive programs were less of a factor affecting sales in the second quarter of 1992 than they have been in recent quarters, particularly in newer projects, indicating the current housing supply more appropriately addresses the needs of homebuyers in the area. However, as long as inventories remain standing and unsold (especially aged inventory), these factors will likely remain a reality to some degree. Given the nature and current rate of market absorption, such sales-stimulating activities will likely be employed throughout the remainder of the year and possibly into the beginning of 1993.
 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- 9/2/92
 /CONTACT: Steve LaTerra of The Meyers Group, 818-501-8905/ CO: The Meyers Group ST: California IN: SU:


LS-EH -- LA025 -- 6074 09/02/92 16:40 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 2, 1992
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