Given unemployment figures, there's probably no easy way to gauge what's going to happen with housing prices, but nevertheless, we turn to San Diego-based real estate company DataQuick, which is reporting that the median home sales price in Los Angeles County rose 5.9 percent in December to $339,000 from a year ago. According to a press release by the company, the median sale price for all of Southern California rose year-over-year for the first time since summer 2007, news which DataQuick interprets as "reflecting a more normal distribution of sales across all price categories." In particular, the release notes that in December there were more sales in higher-end markets including Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Newport Beach. But is that the reason the median sale price is higher? Meanwhile, the SoCal median home sale price has increased or stayed the same for the last eight months, according to DataQuick, but we're still way off the highs seen during the boom. In December, the home sale price in SoCal was $289,000, 42.8 percent lower than the peak Southland median of $505,000 seen in 2007.
· Southland home sales, median price up over last year [DataQuick]
· Southern California housing market strengthens in December [LA Times]