Wednesday, January 16, 2013

LA home prices up 19.6% last year -- but wait, there's more

Alejandro Lazo at L.A. Times has a great article today about year-over-year housing trends in the L.A. area.  Yes, prices were up in December 19.6% compared to December 2011.  Click here for the article, but read past the headlines -- there's some pretty significant info here (the emphasis throughout is mine):

The strong performance last month indicates that 2013 will also continue to bring home price gains, analysts said.
The gains came as foreclosures declined, housing inventory plummeted, mortgage interest rates hit record lows and demand from investors spiked.
In California, buyers can anticipate little new inventory on the market. A supply of only about 2 1/2 months' worth of single-family homes for sale was available statewide at the end of December, the California Assn. of Realtors reported Tuesday. A supply of six or seven months is considered healthy by most economists. Cash buyers and investors are also playing a big part in snapping up home inventory. Cash buyers bought up 33.8% of all resale homes last month, while absentee buyers purchased 29.1% of Southland homes in December.
Oh, those pesky cash buyers! But here's my take-away.  Prices aren't coming down any time soon.  The house you want for $700k will cost you $725k by the summer.  So you may want to think about getting in the game now...


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