Ventura County led Southern California in year-over-year home price increases last month with a 26.8% jump to a median of $430,000 as the hot market kept pressure on prices.
The overall increase for six Southern California counties was 21.2%, to a median of $343,000, according to a report released Wednesday by DataQuick Information Systems. The real estate data provider previously released statistics for Los Angeles and Orange counties.
A total of 22,652 homes were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in January. That was down 30.1% from December's 32,423 and down less than 1% from 22,767 for January last year.
A decrease from December to January is normal for the season, according to DataQuick. January 2002 was the strongest since 1989, when 23,379 homes were sold.
"We have been expecting interest rates to edge up, but instead they have gone down a bit the past two months," DataQuick President Marshall Prentice said. "Additionally, demand is still strong, there are still more people who want to buy homes than there are homes for sale."
The typical monthly mortgage payment that Southland buyers committed to pay was $1,502 in January, down from $1,547 for the previous month and up from $1,307 for January a year ago.
DataQuick said San Diego County's median home price rose 17.9% in January from a year earlier to $396,000. The Riverside County median -- the point at which half the homes sold cost less and half more -- rose 23% to $273,000. The median price in San Bernardino County rose 17.8% to $205,000.
DataQuick earlier reported that the median price in Los Angeles County went up 26.6% in January from a year earlier to $352,000. Orange County's median price rose 22% to $450,000.
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The Southern California housing market continued its upward spiral in January.
Southern California home prices
*--* Median Pct. home price change County in January from '03 Ventura $430,000 +26.8% Los Angeles $352,000 +26.6 Riverside $273,000 +23.0 Orange $450,000 +22.0 San Diego $396,000 +17.9 San Bernardino $205,000 +17.8 So. California $343,000 +21.2
Source: DataQuick Information Systems