Is Chatsworth's Housing Market Finally on the Upswing?
Recession Over? Depends on Who You Ask
So reads the title of a recent article by Mark Brenner on the Web site Labor Notes.
The same could be said of Chatsworth’s housing market, except that it also depends upon which factors you’re looking at and the periods of time being compared.
For instance, according to Trulia.com, a real estate search engine that lists homes for sale and provides local real estate information, median sales prices for January to March 2011 were $370,500. That’s a decline of 5.3% from the previous quarter but an increase of 4.8% over the past year. The average listing price on April 6, 2011 was $482,463—a 2.4% increase from March 16.
Overall, things, as they say, are looking up. At least that’s the viewpoint held by two Chatsworth Realtors.
“The market seems to be picking up and the buyers are coming back,” said Thelma Lyden, a Century 21 agent. Pinnacle Estate Properties Realtor Susan Jones concurs. “Contrary to the business news, we've been experiencing a very busy real estate market. It's picking up and doing good. We've had record sales in our area. Outstanding houses are bringing a good price, better than it has been in the down market. Buyers are out there and excited about the lower prices on foreclosures and fixers, but it’s surprising that there are buyers looking for that perfect house and will pay a fair price. We’re not back at our highs yet, of course, but we’re doing better than last year.”
The former owners of homes that sold for more than the asking price are likely feeling seeing things favorably, too. Numerous Chatsworth homes are so listed on TheMLS.com, a real estate listing service for Los Angeles and southern California, including one for over $33,000 greater than the asking price. Such sales might seem odd, especially given the state of some of the homes that sell for more than they’re listed for, but there are explanations that may account for them.
First, even though the median sales prices have risen, the number of houses listed has decreased by more than 10 homes over the past three weeks. Second, “on a house that's priced right, there might be competing offers,” explained Jones. “Sellers take the highest and best bid, like an auction. We priced one on Milwood Avenue at $699,000, we had seven offers and it closed at $771,711. The seller wanted to price it to sell because he got a very good deal on a house he was buying.” A third reason, which could also explain the second, is that a buyer may, for whatever reason, really want the home.
When it comes to selling, of course, some have no choice. The number of foreclosures in Chatsworth currently stands at 291. Depending upon how you look at it, that number could seem high or low. But when you consider that it’s lower than the number of foreclosures in Granada Hills, Northridge, North Hills and Canoga Park each, it seems Chatsworth isn't faring too badly.
Jones agreed. “The market is good compared to how bad it was. Let's say it's better than it was. It is not back to the days of old.”