• Southern California home prices jumped in December, reaching the highest level in more than nine years.
  • An improving economy and a shortage of homes for sale propelled prices up 6.8 percent from a year earlier, real estate data firm CoreLogic said Tuesday. December’s median price of $470,000 was up 1.1 percent from a month earlier.

  • In Los Angeles County, the median price last month climbed 4 percent from a year earlier to $520,000; in Orange County, 5.3 percent to $665,000; in Ventura County, 5.9 percent to $519,000; in San Bernardino County, 8.7 percent to $299,000; in Riverside County, 8 percent to $345,750; and in San Diego County, 4.2 percent to $495,000.

  • The rise in last month’s six-county median price comes after prices stayed largely flat since June, when the regional median hit $465,000 — which at the time was a nine-year high.