“We have a quite a lot in terms of commercial development, which to a degree is offsetting the loss of residential work,” Neal said. From January through August 2005, Palmdale issued 1,241 permits, compared with 1,040 in the same period this year. “The numbers fluctuate quite a bit,” said Shane Walter, Palmdale’s building official. “It’s down a little bit, but there’s not much difference from last year. It’s kind of correcting itself a little. “It’s decreased a little bit. Some of that depends on when permits are issued. It’s kind of a cyclic type of situation,” Walter said. “Some months we issue more, some months we issue less. It’s not that far off really, and next month could be a big month. Maybe we have a trend of a little bit of a slowdown, but it hasn’t seen anything major yet.” The Antelope Valley chapter of the Building Industry Association also keeps tracks of permits. The organization’s records show 2,604 permits pulled for the first seven months of this year, compared with 2,898 for the same period last year. “It’s a little drop of a couple of hundred. It’s not anything to be overly concerned about,” executive director Gretchen Gutierrez said. “It’s a stabilization of the market.” Gutierrez said the slight slowdown is more the market returning to a normal sales pace versus a complete dropoff. “The market is slower here in the north L.A. County area, but we are still seeing a great deal of activity,” Gutierrez said. “I expect to maintain a steady pace for the next 12 months.” Unlike the early 1990s, when home builders enticed buyers with pools, $5,000 rebates, and help selling their old homes, developers are offering less dramatic incentives on financing, Gutierrez said. “There is advertising to provide incentives for financing options but not price discounts or large giveaways,” Gutierrez said. “We’re not having anyone saying two swimming pools for the price of one. We are not seeing: Knocked prices down by $100,000, come and visit.” Some of the downturn might be seasonal. People are more focused on getting their children back in school rather than buying homes, Gutierrez said. This being an election year with a number of bonds on the November ballot may also be a factor. “People are looking at their personal finances. `Do we want to move right now or wait and see if we are going to have bonds?’ Elections tend to make people more reflective of personal finances,” Gutierrez said. The latest home-sales price numbers offer a mixed picture. Lancaster home-sale prices in July fell to their lowest price since February, while Palmdale prices rebounded to equal the record set there that same month. Lancaster’s median July price for both new and resale homes dipped to $325,000, down $10,000 from the month before, and Palmdale’s rose $10,000 to $375,000. Both cities’ median prices were the same as in February. Lancaster’s July median was 12.1percent ahead of July 2005 prices, and Palmdale’s was 15.4percent ahead, according to sales statistics released by the California Association of Realtors. Lancaster prices peaked at $340,000 in April. Statewide, home sales decreased 29.9percent in July compared with the same period a year ago, while the median prices of an existing home decreased to $567,360 from the record $575,800 set the previous month. [email protected] (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleBy comparison, when the 1980s boom peaked in 1989, about 4,900 homes were sold – a number that plummeted to 2,700 the following year. The drop signaled the start of a deep housing slump that lasted through the decade and during which home prices fell 50percent. In the fiscal year ending in June, Lancaster issued 2,750 building permits, for an average of more than 200 a month. The city issued 63 permits in July and 94 in August, officials said. “There has been a definite slowdown from last year,” said Robert Neal, Lancaster’s building and safety division head. “The problem is you can’t look at a single month. It doesn’t really work that way.” Neal said the workload of inspectors called out to housing tracts also has started to taper off slightly, but on the other hand, commercial development is booming. PALMDALE – New home sales are down and Lancaster and Palmdale are issuing home-building permits at a slower rate, leading some officials to say that the Antelope Valley is experiencing a real-estate slowdown while others say it’s a correction to more normal conditions. Between January and July, 1,447 new homes were sold – down 46percent from the 2,687 sold in the same period in 2005, according to data compiled by the real estate consulting and data company Hanley Wood Market Intelligence. “It’s just a slowing down from a really frenzied market,” said Patrick Duffy, managing director of consulting for Hanley Wood. “We typically tend to see those in suburban markets.” Home builders sold 4,195 new homes in the Antelope Valley last year, the company said.