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Home sales in Southern California area ended 2015 on a high note, with sales rising in December from a year ago while the median sale price reached its highest level in more than eight years, according to figures from CoreLogic.
Sales of new and existing homes and condominiums in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties surged 33 percent in December from November and rose 9.8 percent from a year ago to 20,890 homes sold.
Sales of new and existing homes and condominiums in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties surged 33 percent in December from November.
Sales of new and existing homes and condominiums in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego,… more
The December annual gain was the highest for any month since July 2015, when sales rose 17.3 percent year over year, CoreLogic said.
The median price paid for all Southern California homes sold in December 2015 was $443,000, up 1 percent from $438,500 in November and up 6.7 percent from $415,000 in December 2014. The December 2015 median was the highest for any month since October 2007 when it was $445,000 and surpassed the previous high of $442,000 in June.
For Los Angeles County, home sales rose 8.2 percent in December from a year ago to 7,196 units. The median price of a home grew 8.1 percent to $500,000.
In Orange County, home sales soared 13.8 percent in December from a year earlier, while the median price of a home grew 8.2 percent to $630,000.
Riverside County saw home sales grow 8.3 percent and the median price also rose, by 6.7 precent to $320,000. San Bernardino County sales were up 11.4 percent while the median price increased 6.9 percent to $272,000
“While it’s normal for home sales to rise between November and December, the 33 percent gain between those two months in 2015 was more than double the typical, historical increase of about 14 percent,” said Andrew LePage, research analyst with CoreLogic.
But LePage said the strong sales growth comes with a caveat.
“December home sales, which were the highest for that month in six years, got a boost from a batch of transactions that normally would have closed in November but were delayed by days or weeks as the industry adjusted to new federal mortgage rules that took effect in October,” he said.
For the full-year 2015, Southern California home sales rose 8.1 percent from 2014, but they were still about 14 percent below the region’s average annual sales over the past quarter century.
Home sales of $500,000 or more accounted for 41.6 percent of all sales in December, up from 40.3 percent of sales in November and from 36.7 percent in December 2014. The number of homes that sold below $500,000 in December increased 0.6 percent year over year, and there was a 23.7 percent gain for sales of $500,000 or more. The number of homes selling for $800,000 or more rose 22.6 percent year over year and sales of $1 million or more rose 19.5 percent over the same time.