The property values of Los Angeles and Orange Counties rose to a combined $1.1 trillion last year, a slight uptick from the year before. The increase, of $16.2 billion, was the first increase in three year and local leaders are taking it as a sign of a recovering economy.

The increases came primarily from an increase of sales of residential properties, because the actual median home value dropped during the same period of time.

An increase of 1.5 percent isn’t enough to get people to crack open champagne, but it at least has some hoping that the deep recession is beginning to crest.

From the Los Angeles Times:

For the first time in three years, the assessed value of all property in Los Angeles and Orange counties has increased, according to assessors.

The uptick in values gives reason for optimism that “the real estate market in Los Angeles County and California is growing stronger and continues to recover,” said Los Angeles County Assessor John R. Noguez.

“I think I’m probably the breath of fresh air that hope is finally resurfacing…” Noguez said. “When I shared this information with Gov. [Jerry] Brown, he was very happy.”

Read the full article here.