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'Sample' Home Prices Increase 21% in a Year : Research Council Says Appreciation Greatest Since the Late 1970s

December 11, 1988|DAVID M. KINCHEN | Times Staff Writer

Prices of existing homes surveyed in October by the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California increased an average 12.3% from April--an annualized rate of 24.6%--and rose 21% from the October, 1987, survey prices.

The study of 214 houses in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties resulted in a seven-county average of $217,900, up from $192,600 in April and $178,200 in October, 1987.

This is the fourth consecutive survey showing escalating double-digit home price inflation in Southern California, according to Michael Carney, executive director of the Pomona-based research organization.

"Not since the late 1970s have Southern California home prices appreciated at rates as high as these," Carney said.

Los Angeles Led

The average in Los Angeles County was the highest, at $270,200, followed by Orange County at $210,600, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties at $209,100, San Diego County at $183,100, with Riverside and San Bernardino counties at a relatively affordable $123,700.

Appreciation rates in Los Angeles County were highest in the Westside-Santa Monica areas--averaging 29% above October, 1987--and lowest in the east San Gabriel Valley-Pomona areas, about 17%. Most other areas increased at average annual rates above 20%, Carney said.

Prices in San Diego County rose an average of 16% and prices in Santa Barbara County continued to rise at about 13% a year. The Inland Empire counties of Riverside and San Bernardino again had the lowest appreciation levels, about 10% to 12% annually.

Sample Homes Priced

These figures represent the average of the market prices of the council's existing "sample"homes. They do not represent the average price of all homes in each county, nor the average price of homes actually sold, Carney said. The market price index for the seven-county area reached 461 in October, indicating that the average home price in the sample has appreciated 361% from the base year (1975) price.

This represents a 12.5% compound annual rate of increase over the past 13 years, he said.

Areas with indexes exceeding 500--with prices now five times what they were in 1975--include Westside-Santa Monica (758), Oxnard-Ventura (678), north-central Pasadena (667), Long Beach Harbor (599), Santa Barbara (555), Southwest (537), and San Fernando Valley (507).

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