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Inland Empire Business News August 23, 2014.003
Inland Empire Business News August 23, 2014.003

Housing market closes 2014 strong

Southern California home sales rose significantly in December, boosted in part by lower mortgage rates and solid job growth.

More than 19,000 new and used single-family homes were sold in the six-county region last month, a 4.3 percent increase compared with December 2013, according to CoreLogic DataQuick in San Diego.

Sales were up 22.8 percent compared with November, when more than 15,600 homes were sold in the Inland Empire and Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Ventura counties.

December was one of only two months in 2014 that posted a year-over-year increase in sales, all the more impressive because December is not usually a good month for the housing market.

The end of 2014 might be the start of a solid run in home sales in Southern California, said Andrew LePage, data analyst with CoreLogic DataQuick.

“One month doesn’t make a trend, but December’s uptick in home sales might indicate renewed interest in housing,” LePage said in a statement. “The gain came despite a continued decline in the share of homes sold to investors and cash buyers. If demand continues to build we’ll need more supply to keep up with it.”

Construction of new homes remains “below average,” and it remains to be seen if the new surge in demand will lead more homes being built, LePage said.

The median price of a home last month – $415,000 – was a 0.7 percent increase from November but a 5.1 percent increase year-over-year, when the median price was $395,000, according to CoreLogic DataQuick.

In Riverside County, sales were up 13 percent year-over-year with a median price of $300,000, a 7.1 percent increase during that time. In San Bernardino County, sales were up 8.3 percent and the median home price – $255,000 – was a 9.9 percent increase year-over-year, CoreLogic DataQuick stated.

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