Home prices in the region up for 50th straight month

Home prices in the region up for 50th straight month

House prices continued rising in July, increasing from year-ago levels for a 50th straight month in Orange County and for a 51st straight month in Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire, the CoreLogic Home Price Index showed Tuesday.

Orange County has had the lowest appreciation rate in the region, with July house prices up 4.6 percent. By comparison, prices were up 6.3 percent in the Inland Empire and 6.7 percent in L.A. County, CoreLogic numbers show.

Nationwide, the price of an existing single-family home increased 5.4 percent from July 2015 levels. Prices were up 5.9 percent statewide.

CoreLogic’s monthly price index is based on same-home comparisons, computing the average price change of all homes sold compared to each home’s previous sale price.

Mortgage interest rates hovering within a fourth of a percent of all-time lows is a key factor in the housing market’s four-year-plus upward trajectory. But resistance to Orange County’s higher prices is keeping a lid on the rate of increase.

For example, O.C.’s price gains averaged just over 5 percent for the past year, compared to 6.1 percent in the Inland Empire and 6.5 percent in L.A. County.

“If mortgage rates continue to remain relatively low and job growth continues, as most forecasters expect, then home purchases are likely to rise in the coming year,” said Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic chief economist. “The increased sales will support further price appreciation, and according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index, home prices are projected to rise about 5 percent over the next year.”

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