Southland home prices rise in June, but growth rate slowed sharply

Southland home prices rise 7.8% in June, smallest gain in two years

Southern California home prices in June saw their smallest gain in two years, further evidence of a slowdown in the regional housing recovery.

The median home price across the six-county region hit $415,000 last month, 7.8% higher than a year earlier, research firm DataQuick said Tuesday.  It was the first time prices failed to climb by double digits since July 2012.

Home prices rose by single digits in Los Angeles, San Diego and Ventura counties. In L.A., they climbed 5.9% compared with a year earlier.

Part of the reason for the slowdown in the median price — the point where half the homes sold for more and half for less — can be chalked up to a normalizing market.

There are now fewer foreclosures that experts say exaggerate price swings. Sales of those distressed properties accounted for 5.3% of previously owned homes sold last month, down from 9% a year earlier.

But overall demand has also declined. The housing market began to slow last summer as families struggled to afford homes after prices surged and mortgage rates rose. Investors have pulled back as well.

“People can’t stretch with exotic and risky loans the way they could during the last housing boom,” DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage, said in a statement.

In June, buyers scooped up 20,654 new and resale houses and condos, down 4.4% from June 2013. That's the lowest for the month in three years.

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