by Walter Moore
American Reopiorter Correspondent
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 23, 2006
IN L.A. TIMES STORY, REGION'S HOME-PRICE DIP IS GLOSSED OVER
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 23, 2006 -- In an article on the price of houses yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported that "Southland prices rose 16.5 percent over 2004 to a record median of $460,000." That's only true as far as it goes.
Monthly figures tell a different story the Times story doesn't mention: prices basically haven't risen since August 2005. The median price of a house in Los Angeles County did not change at all from August to September. In October, the median price went down one percent; in November, up one percent; and in December, back down one percent. So prices are not rising right now. They're flat, and have been since August. Why couldn't the Times tell us that?
In some neighborhoods, moreover, prices have dropped significantly. In Westchester, for example, the average price of homes sold dropped nearly 4 percent, or $31,000 per house, from November to December.
So before you let any politicians use the banner of "affordable housing" to sell you on new taxes, or on subsidies for developers, take what they say with a grain of salt.
Prices have risen dramatically during the past five years, but there's an Economics 101 explanation for it:
Stay tuned to see what happens with "affordable housing" in coming months.
Walter Moore is former Republican candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles.