A new report from real estate data tracker CoreLogic finds the median sale price of Southern California homes has reached its highest level since summer of 2007, just prior to the recession.
In Los Angeles County, prices actually dropped off to $520,000 in December—down from $530,000 in November. But across the broader region, prices rose from $465,000 to $470,000 thanks to gains in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.
Over the course of the year, prices in LA County rose four percent, while prices across Southern California jumped up nearly seven percent.
The report notes that the recent increases are likely due to a strengthening economy and low supply, compared to other housing markets. Also helping things along: an uptick in sales of newly built homes. Typically pricier than older residences, homes selling to their first owners accounted for 12 percent of all transactions in December. That's the highest share in eight years.
Overall, the number of total sales increased nearly five percent in SoCal and more than six percent in LA County since last month. The small spike in sales may have been brought on by fears of rising interest rates following the election.
With some of the highest home prices in the nation, Southern California continues to draw a large number of real estate investors. More than one in five homes sold in the area went to buyers who didn't plan to live in them full time.
On a related note, 21 percent of buyers paid in cash. (That’s actually down quite a bit since 2013, when over one-third of buyers did so.)