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SAN FERNANDO VALLEY HOME RESALE ACTIVITY IMPROVING EVEN AS MONTHLY TOTAL FALLS

 SAN FERNANDO VALLEY HOME RESALE ACTIVITY IMPROVING
 EVEN AS MONTHLY TOTAL FALLS
 LOS ANGELES, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The local residential housing market continued its slow, steady improvement during April with the sale of 932 properties, the San Fernando Valley Board of Realtors reported today.
 While sales are down from a year ago -- off 20.3 percent from April of last year -- board statistics show monthly tallies climbing. The 939 properties that closed escrow is up 6.5 percent from the 878 sales reported in March. That increase follows a 58 percent jump reported from February to March.
 "We're seeing more and more interest and activity every month from prospective buyers," said Lorrie Griffey, the president of the board. "And, we do not expect a sudden drop in sales, like the fall-off that occurred last year in the wake of the Persian Gulf War."
 "Last year there was a temporary spike in the market caused by the war with Iraq," said Jim Link, the executive vice president of the San Fernando Valley Board of Realtors.
 "Sales climbed to 1,300 in May and again in July," he said, "only to fall off in August and for the rest of the year as the euphoria of the Persian Gulf victory wore off and consumer uncertainty set in.
 "The indicators this year," Link said, "suggest that we won't see that kind of drop in activity. Instead, we expect the slow, steady recovery to continue."
 Favorable weather, a huge inventory of homes for sale and low home loan interest rates continue to bring prospective buyers out in greater numbers, Griffey said.
 "Realtors and Realtor-associates report very strong traffic at weekend open houses," Griffey said, "and a growing awareness that the market clearly favors buyers."
 Activity slowed slightly in recent weeks because of the violence in Los Angeles, but the effects of the disturbance in Valley home sale activity are expected to be negligible.
 Link said the average price of single-family homes sold during April was $297,600, up 4.1 percent from 1991 and 10.2 percent higher than the average reported this March.
 Condominium average prices also showed a 4.4 percent gain over last year, rising $6,500 to $154,800, but fell 2.8 percent compared to March.
 The inventory of homes for sale rose again in April to 13,653 properties. That Valleywide total was 9 percent higher than a year ago and up 5.8 percent from March. Of that total, 10,764 were single-family homes and 2,889 were condominiums.
 "Spring typically brings out sellers and buyers," Link said. "A growing inventory means the current buyers' market in all likelihood will continue for the rest of the year.
 "That's great news for buyers, who have unprecedented opportunities," Link said. "It also means sellers must price properties in line with market realities."
 The San Fernando Valley Board of Realtors is a local trade association comprised of 8,000 members who serve the real estate needs of the vast community spanning the Valley from North Hollywood to Calabasas. It is the largest local board in California and the third largest nationwide.
 -0- 5/11/92
 /CONTACT: Lorrie Griffey, president or Jim Link, executive VP of the San Fernando Valley Board of Realtors, 818-786-2110; or Dave Walker of David Walker Associates, 818-222-1335, for San Fernando Valley Board of Realtors/ CO: San Fernando Valley Board of Realtors ST: California IN: FIN SU:


KJ -- LA021 -- 8710 05/11/92 14:12 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 11, 1992
Words:579
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