Take That, West Los Angeles!

The Valley Laughs at Earthquakes. The Daily News is reporting that the San Fernando Valley likely will not suffer earthquakes stronger than those that were centered in Sylmar in 1971 or Northridge in 1994, according to a new research report published in the journal Geology. Now, what we had in 1994 was bad, yes, but there have been much worse, so this is good news. Using advanced measurements of magnetic fields on sediments and other information, seismic researchers at Oregon State University found that the earth’s crust in the Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley to the north is broken up into blocks rather than being in a single piece as it is in the San Gabriel Valley and areas of eastern Ventura County. The significance is that when the plates move, causing a quake, the smaller blocks of crust don’t unleash as much energy as a single large tectonic plate. So expectations of the potential for more severe quakes in the Valley and north county are unfounded. According to the Oregon State geology professor emeritus Robert Yeats, “If you’re in the San Fernando Valley, you live in earthquake country, but you don’t live in 7.2 to 7.5 country.”

The Valley Housing Market Remains Strong. According to the Daily News, the median price of a San Fernando Valley home hit a record high of $525,000 in March amid strong sales. The soaring single-family price, which gained an annual 18.8 percent, or $83,000, pushed bargain hunters into the less-expensive condominium market. Upward pressure on the single-family median home price came from Calabasas, Tarzana and Encino. The median hit $1.12 million in Calabasas, $1.1 million in Tarzana and $1 million in Encino, where 78 homes sold. Throughout the Valley 1,943 properties were listed for sale at the end of March, about a 1.2-month supply the association calls “alarmingly low.”

I can attest to the lowness of inventory. In our searches, we’re lucky to find 3 or 4 properties that are potentials. On the other hand, the rising prices bodes well for us when we go to sell our current place, which will be priced below the median.