July 9, 2009

L.A. County property values drop

The downturn in the housing market pushed property values down 0.09 percent in Los Angeles County in 2008, the county assessor's office said.

It was the first time in 13 years the total value of property in the county had declined, The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The value of all the property in Los Angeles County now totals $1.1 trillion, the annual report said.

On average, the property value in the county has risen 7 percent each year since 1996. This year, in spite of the drop, the county made out better than some of its neighbors, assessor Rick Auerbach said.

Home values have declined and foreclosures are up, but not to the same extent as in neighboring counties, Auerbach said in a statement.

The real estate market is still a vital part of Los Angeles County's economy, he said.

Property values in the city of Lancaster dropped 15.4 percent in 2008. In Palmdale, property values dropped 14.9 percent.

In the larger cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach, property values dropped 10 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, the assessor said.