The economy in the coastal areas of California is recovering with new home prices rising, but things remains stagnant in the central parts of the state.

The median home price in the nine-county San Francisco Bay area increased 15.2 percent in December compared to a year ago, reaching $380,000, according to MDA DataQuick. In Southern California, the median home price increased 7.5 percent to $360,000.

Median home prices in the eight-county Central Valley fell 11 percent to $142,000 during the same time period, DataQuick says.

In the Inland Empire counties of San Bernardino and Riverside, the median home price in December was $180,000, down 10 percent from a year ago.

Economists say the improvement in coastal California was driven by jobs and the increasing availability of venture capital. California is often considered a bellwether of trends in other areas of the country.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Cari Tuna