OC Register | LA-OC Home Prices Appreciate Faster than US
By ASSOCIATED PRESS and JONATHAN LANSNER | February 12, 2020 Home-price gains in Los Angeles and Orange counties topped the national pace in November for the first time in 13 months, by one often-quoted index. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 2.6% in November from a year ago, up from a 2.2% annual gain in October. Index was up 4.5% in the year ended November 2018. The L.A.-O.C. slice of the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index was up 2.7% in November. The last time it topped U.S. gains was in October 2018. U.S. homes are appreciating at their fastest pace in nine months in November as lower mortgage rates and a sharp drop in available properties have pushed would-be buyers to bid up home values. Still, price increases remain modest: They fell to a seven-year low in July before picking up last fall. Why the buying rush? The number of homes for sale plummeted 8.5% last year to 1.4 million. That represents a three-month supply at the current sales pace, the lowest on records dating to 1982. Plus, mortgage rates are far below their levels of a year ago. That helps make purchasing a home more affordable, even as home prices rise nearly at the same pace as wages. That partly reflects the impact of the Federal Reserve’s cuts to its short-term interest rate, as well as a lower yield on the 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark rate that influences mortgage costs. Home prices among this index’s 20 cities rose the most in November in Phoenix, where they increased 5.9%, followed by Charlotte with 5.2% and Tampa at 5%. “The U.S. housing market was stable in November,” says S&P’s Craig Lazzara. “November’s results were broad-based, with gains in every city in our 20-city composite.” Home values have fully recovered from the housing bust and have moved even higher. The 20-city index is nearly 6% above its 2006 peak, though that figure is not adjusted for inflation.
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