*Home prices stuck at 550K

That's the December median price in L.A. County, according to HomeData Corp., which assembles monthly numbers for the Business Journal. The median price has been stuck at that level since last spring. But inventory continues to climb; in December it reached 8.3 months, meaning that it would take that amount of time to sell all the homes on the market at the current pace of sales. The story closely examines the local housing market last year - lots and lots of numbers - but I couldn't come across December home sales, which would seem to be a pretty important statistic. Anyway, the analysis finds that there was lots more action on the lower end than at the higher end, which is what you might expect at the conclusion of a housing cycle.

*Mystery solved: December sales info is reported in a sidebar available only by subscription. While sales were off 15 percent from a year earlier, there were more homes sold during the month - usually a very slow period - than in November. That's being interepted as a sign that the market might be bottoming out. Bear in mind that Dataquick, which also collects housing numbers, hasn't yet come out with its December figures. So we'll see.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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