Home sales up nationwide and in Los Angeles

Now may be the perfect time to invest in real estate in Los Angeles as home sales are increasing around the country and in parts of the West Coast. According to the Associated Press, the government has reported that new home sales increased 3.6 percent in July 2012 from the previous month. The sale of new single-family homes rose to the seasonally adjusted annual level of 372,000 units in July, more than a two-year high for total sales, states the US Census Bureau.

The publication reports that sales in July were up 25.3 percent nationwide from the same time last year, revealing that the housing market and overall economy may be finally recovering. Furthermore, previously occupied houses were up 2.3 percent in July.

"Levels of housing activity remain extremely depressed relative to previous peaks, but growth rates across most of the housing data are clearly moving in the right direction," said Jill Brown, vice president of economics for Credit Suisse.

According to the Los Angeles Times, home inventory is in short supply in the West Coast compared to the East, and the West was the only region where sales didn't increase month to month in July. DataQuick reports that although sales of new and resale houses in California were down 3.7 from June 2012, the median price paid for a California home during July was up 2.6 percent month-over-month. The median price paid in the state was $281,000.

On the other hand, the housing marketing is looking promising here in Los Angeles as DataQuick states that Southern California home sales rose above the year-ago level in July for the seventh consecutive month. The median home price paid in the Southland rose to $306,000 in July, up 2 percent from June and up 8.1 from July 2011. Experts say that buying activity in the area is especially concentrated in move-up and high-end submarkets.

"We're approaching the peak of the traditional spring-summer home-buying season," said John Walsh, DataQuick president. "More owners will be interested in selling, knowing their homes are likely to fetch a higher price, and more people will shift from a negative to at least a slightly positive equity position, enabling them to sell. Home builders could rev up operations and lenders could push more distressed properties onto the market sooner."