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Southern California home prices rose 6.5 percent in October [Los Angeles Times :: BC-REAL-SOCAL-HOMEPRICES:LA]

LOS ANGELES - Southern California home prices rose 6.5 percent in October from a year earlier, while sales jumped 3.6 percent, according to a new report out Wednesday from researcher CoreLogic.

The sales increase comes despite a shortage of listings on the market and underscores the strong demand for housing as employers add jobs in the region.

Home prices have been rising each month on a year-over-year basis for more than five years. In addition to an improving economy, historically low mortgage rates have supercharged the market and allowed borrowers to pay more for a house, as long as they can scrape together a hefty down payment.

Last month, the median home price in the six-county region clocked in at $495,000.

That's down from a record $505,000 in September, though it's not uncommon for prices to dip month to month. That's especially true in the fall and winter, when demand tends to taper off from the busy spring and summer buying seasons.

Andrew LePage, an analyst with CoreLogic, said part of the decline from September reflects a shift toward more homes selling in affordable neighborhoods, which brings down the median - the point where half the homes sold for more and half for less.

Prices were up across Southern California compared to a year earlier:

Los Angeles County, up 7.6 percent to $565,000.

Orange County, up 5.3 percent to $690,000.

Ventura County, up 2.2 percent to $547,000.

San Bernardino County, up 12.3 percent to $320,000.

Riverside County, up 6.9 percent to $358,000.

San Diego County, up 4.4 percent to $529,750.

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