Home Prices Dip on Coast But Rise in Inland Empire

Home prices in seven Southland counties surveyed by the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California increased an average of only 2.9% from six months ago, continuing a trend that began last fall.

The April, 1990, average price for the 214 houses in the survey sample in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties was $274,800, up 11.2% from the April, 1989, average price of $248,700.

Compared to six months ago, prices decreased, on average, 2.1% in Ventura County; 2.3% in Orange County and 1% in Santa Barbara County, according to Michael Carney, executive director of the Cal Poly Pomona-based research group.

"Overall, this survey shows a marked slowdown in the rate of inflation in Southern California home prices," he said. "Furthermore, the annualized six-month rate of 5.8% (2.9% X 2) is considerably less than the annual rate of 11.2%, indicating a sharp slowdown in the rate of inflation."

Though coastal areas showed declines in the appraised prices, prices in the Inland Empire--San Bernardino and Riverside counties--continued to experience large increases, Carney said.

Compared to a year ago, prices were up 19% in San Bernardino County and 17% in Riverside County. The increases from October, 1989, to April, 1990, were 6.3% for San Bernardino County and 6.8% for Riverside County.

In April, 1990, the average price of the sample homes in Los Angeles County was $346,500. Orange County was next with $243,200, followed by Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, $237,600; San Diego County, $232,700, and Riverside and San Bernardino counties, $168,700.

The prices are based on twice-yearly appraisals of the 214 sample houses and are designed to show trends in Southland home prices, not necessarily levels, Carney said.

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