Have LA home prices peaked for 2016?

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Home prices are up, but that’s not stopping buyers. Real estate data firm Corelogic says the number of homes sold last month in Southern California totaled 23,278—the highest for an August in a decade.

It’s an 8 percent increase from July and 9.5 percent compared to August 2015. From Andrew LePage, a research analyst with CoreLogic:

“The big picture is that the housing market continues to edge back toward normalcy in the wake of the worst housing bust in modern history. Although the inventory of homes for sale remains unusually low in many markets, the share of homes sold to investors and cash buyers is the lowest in years, closer to historical averages, and this summer the distressed sales’ share of total sales has been the lowest since spring 2007.”

Corelogic, which tracks data from Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties, said job growth and low interest rates contributed to the region’s robust numbers. In Los Angeles County, the number of homes sold rose 5.4 percent over August 2015 and 6 percent over the previous month.

Since July, the county’s median home price in August dipped ever so slightly, or .4 percent, to $530,000. But year-over-year, it was up 6 percent from $500,000. (Usually, the median sale price peaks in the summer, or in December; last year’s highest median sale price of $442,000 was reached in June.)

“Given seasonal and other forces, including affordability constraints, it’s possible that Southern California’s median sale price has already peaked for the year at $465,000, where it has held steady for the last three months,” LePage said.

 Courtesy of Corelogic

As the median, or midpoint, price rises over $500,000, it makes sense that the number of homes selling for that amount or more is also increasing—last month, 45.1 percent of all homes were sold for $500,000 or more.

The number of homes that sold for more than half a million dollars rose 21.8 percent over the same time last year; sales of homes under half a million dollars rose just one percent in the same time period.

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