The median price for a single-family home rose almost 15% from $460,000 in February 2012 to $527,750 last month, according to statistics compiled by Realtor Eric Benz with Dilbeck Real Estate in Burbank.
Robert Kurdyan, a Realtor with Keller Williams in Burbank, said that with multiple offers for every property he lists, competition should continue pushing up prices.
“I don't see the prices going down in the foreseeable future,” Kurdyan said. “The way the [interest] rates are, being low, kind of created a little frenzy.”
Kurdyan said that although interest rates for home loans saw a minor jump — going up to 4.5% two weeks ago — that only further increased upward pressure on prices.
“That created a little more of a frenzy,” he said. “Most consumers think, ‘OK, the bottom is behind us now, so let's get it before we see [rates] go up even more.'”
The number of single-family homes for sale continued to pale in comparison to last year, with 95 on the market last month, a 46% decrease from 177 in February 2012.
And there were 29 condos for sale, a 64% drop from 81 a year ago.
In addition, Benz said that investors who can buy with cash are snapping up properties, making it hard for buyers with loans to close a purchase.
Looking at distressed homes and condos, 19 of them sold last month, making up around 32% of total sales.
Distressed sales include bank-owned properties and short sales, in which lenders let homeowners sell their homes for less than they owe on their mortgages.
Kurdyan said that bank-owned properties could be a much-needed source of new inventory for the market, but he's not expecting them anytime soon.
“There is a shadow inventory, held by the banks, but we don't know when they're going to be released,” he said.