The next six months will be the last period that will suffer by comparison to tax-credit-fueled home sales from a year earlier at the same time. Congress last year renewed and expanded the scope of Federal tax credits for home buyers in November, which artificially bouyed sales through at least April 2010. The Orange County Register's Jon Lansner tallies up DataQuick data for the first 22 days of December and notes they're off by 12 from 2009. In 2011, it'll be cause to celebrate when comps lose their minus signs.

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Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.