Home prices are likely to keep climbing in the Southland in the next few months, though not as fast as last year.
That's the prediction from FNC, which forecasts a 3.7% rise in prices between March and August in Los Angeles and Orange counties and 4.2% in the Inland Empire. The Oxford, Miss.-based data firm runs a home price index based on "normal" – non-distressed – sales and how they would affect similar homes in the same area.
The index in February was 17.4% higher than last year in Los Angeles and Orange counties and 20% higher in the Inland Empire, FNC said. They forecast it will keep rising through the summer, though at roughly half the pace it did last year. That's a sign of a market that's healthy, but not overheating, said Yanling Mayer, director of research at FNC.
"The California markets are all doing really good," she said. "They're at a steady pace that's more sustainable, instead of seeing this crazy going-up."
Another sign of strength, Mayer said, is that price discounting has all but gone away in Los Angeles. Homes that sold here in March, she said, went on average for barely below their listing price. And the typical seller sold their house for 4.5% more than they paid for it.