L.A. and O.C. home prices jump, Case-Shiller says

U.S. home prices are slightly above the peak set in July 2006, according to the Case-Shiller national home price index.
(Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)

Home prices in Los Angeles and Orange counties posted strong gains in July, rising 6.1% from a year earlier, according to a closely tracked gauge released Tuesday.

That was larger than the 4.7% increase seen nationally, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index showed. Compared with June’s figures, prices inched up 0.4% in the L.A. area.

The housing market this year has rebounded from a sluggish 2014, buoyed by solid job growth in California and nationally.

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However, some signs have emerged that the robust pace may be cooling a bit.

Sales of previously owned homes dropped 4.8% nationally in August from a month earlier. And on Monday, the National Assn. of Realtors reported that pending sales -- based off signed contracts, not closed deals -- fell 1.4% last month.

The Case-Shiller numbers out Tuesday lag behind other indicators, but they are widely considered the most reliable reading on home values.

The index, created by economists Karl E. Case and Robert J. Shiller, compares the latest sales of detached houses with previous sales and accounts for factors such as remodeling.

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