SoCal Home Prices and Sales Surged in December

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A Pasadena house is seen with a "For Sale" sign in a file photo. (David McNew/Getty Images)

A Pasadena house is seen with a “For Sale” sign in a file photo. (David McNew/Getty Images)

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Southern California home prices in December rose by the most in 19 months, the latest sign that the housing market is gaining steam after a prolonged slowdown.

The six-county median sales price hit a new all-time high of $550,000 last month, a 7.2% increase from a year earlier, according to data from DQNews. Sales, meanwhile, surged 22.1% from December 2018 — the largest gain since late 2016.

The dramatic bounce of sales and home prices reflects the depressed state of the market a year earlier. At the time, concerns over affordability and the direction of the economy were heightened. The stock market had plunged and some would-be buyers wondered if prices would follow. Sales in December 2018 dropped 20% from a year earlier.

“December 2018 was a really weird month,” said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner at Beacon Economics.

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