Los Angeles County home prices shot up 10 percent in 2017

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Los Angeles home prices creeped up again in December, according to a new report from real estate data tracker CoreLogic.

The median sale price in LA County rose 0.5 percent over November, finishing the year at $570,000. That’s nearly 10 percent higher than in December of 2016, when the median price was $520,000.

Earlier in 2017, prices climbed all the way to $575,000—higher than they’ve ever been—before falling back to $565,000 in October.

Now prices are ascending once again, surpassing levels reached just prior to the late 2007 mortgage crisis. In LA County, more than 60 percent of homes now sell for over $500,000, and almost 18 percent sell for over $1 million.

Experts and real estate professionals expect that prices will continue to rise through 2018.

That’s partly because few homes are actually trading hands lately. Across all of Southern California, the number of December sales was the lowest for the month in three years. In Los Angeles County, 6,597 homes were sold last month—a 4.2 percent drop over a year earlier.

It’s not that buyers aren’t interested. According to separate data from Zillow, the typical LA home takes about 66 days to sell (including escrow). Nationwide, homes spend about 91 days on the market.

CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage says that fewer homes are selling simply because fewer homes are on the market. With buyers faced with limited options, demand for properties is outpacing supply, driving up prices. (Across all of Southern California, sale prices broke an all-time record in December, hitting $507,500.)

But LePage suggests there’s reason to be uncertain about what coming months will bring. Because offers were accepted on most homes sold in December prior to the passage of tax reform at the federal level, we’ll have to wait to see what effect the new rules have on the market.

Many analysts have suggested the tax cuts could have a big impact on homeowners, and a report released in December found that they could lead to a 4 percent drop in home prices nationwide. In Southern California, where buyers will be hard hit by the new rules, a dip of more than 6 percent is expected, compared to where values would be if tax rules remained the same.

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