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Burbank real estate market levels out

Higher consumer confidence, low interest means home sales strengthen.

February 28, 2012|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com

The real estate market in Burbank appears to be holding steady compared to the same time last year, according to the latest real estate figures.

There were 25 single-family homes sold in Burbank last month, edging down from 26 sold in January 2011, according to the Burbank Assn. of Realtors.

The median price also saw only a slight dip from $512,500 in January 2011 to $510,000 last month.

The number of condominiums sold and the median price both increased in January. The median condo price jumped from $215,070 in January 2011 to $299,000 last month.

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The number of condos sold bumped up a bit from five in January 2011 to seven last month.

Brian Paul, chief executive of the association, said the market seems to be turning around locally, with more inventory on the housing market and multiple offers from potential buyers, prompting bidding wars that are keeping the median price steady for single-family homes and pushing it up for condos.

“We’re just finding the market is getting very competitive again,” he said.

Paul also said the Burbank City Council’s vote to extend an August deadline to replace wood roofs in the city will mean those homes will hopefully sell more quickly now at higher prices.

The council last week approved a two-year extension for exposed wood roofs and an eight-year postponement for “roof-overs,” or wood-shingle or shake roofs covered by another roofing material.

Potential buyers were bidding lower on those homes — if at all — because they knew they would have to spend around $20,000 to replace the roof almost as soon as they took ownership, real estate agents said.

Realtor Christopher John Rizzotti, who was vocal in pushing for the wood roof deadline extension, said he’s finding housing sales are taking off again.

“The market is pretty hot right now,” he said, citing low interest rates and improved consumer confidence in the economy.

More first-time home buyers are also entering the market, Rizzotti added. With interest rates in the 3% range, renters are realizing that buying a home is a smart choice economically, he said.

“Rent and mortgage values are about the same,” he said.

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