February 26th, 2013
Home prices in Los Angeles and Orange counties ended 2012 up 10.2 percent, according to the latest of four key home price indexes released Tuesday.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index reported that single-family home prices in the two-county area bottomed out in June, followed by five months of rising home prices through December.
The annual increase mirrors a similar home-buying trend nationwide. Case-Shiller reported that home prices rose 7.3 percent across the country. A separate measure showed that home prices increased in 19 of 20 leading metro areas.
Case-Shiller is the latest in a series of home-price measures showing the momentum behind the housing recovery that took hold in the last half of 2012 after five years of declines and false starts.
The report reflects sales completed two months ago, but Anaheim broker Mike Deleon said competition remains tight among Orange County homebuyers, driving up prices.
“There’s multiple offers on every transaction that I’ve looked at,” said Deleon, president-elect of the Orange County Association of Realtors. “Prices are starting to go up due to low interest rates. As long as the Fed keeps rates low, we’ll see prices gradually rise.”
S&P Index Committee Chairman David Blitzer noted in Tuesday’s report that U.S. price gains in late 2012 were slightly lower than in the previous six months, suggesting that future gains may not be as big.
In the L.A.-O.C. area, however, just the opposite it true. Home price gains were higher from one month to the next in the last half of 2012.
Previous housing reports showed
- DataQuick Information Systems reported that the median price of an Orange County single-family home – or price at the midpoint of all sales — increased 17.5 percent in December. DataQuick later reported a 15.6 percent gain in January.
- The California Association of Realtors’ median price for the county posted a 20.3 percent gain in December — followed by a 17.2 percent increase in January.
- CoreLogic’s Home Price Index recorded a 9.2 percent gain in county home prices in December.
The sales reports use varying benchmarks to gauge the real estate market.
DataQuick and the Realtors association both compare all homes sold in one period to all homes sold in another. Their numbers reflect both rising home values and a shift in the market to pricier homes.
CoreLogic and Case-Shiller indexes compare each home’s sale price to its previous sale price. This minimizes the impact caused by shifting sales trends.