Asking prices and rents posted gains in December nationally and locally, according to data in the latest Trulia Price Monitor and Trulia Rent Monitor.

Asking prices, which lead sales prices by about two or more months, rose 5.1 percent nationally last month compared to December 2011. Rents were up 5.2 percent year-over-year across the country.

Las Vegas and Seattle had the biggest year-over-year price increases, while Houston and Oakland, Calif., had the largest jumps in rent increases.

“What a difference a year makes. In 2012, prices rose in 82 of the 100 largest metros, compared with just 12 metros seeing price increases in 2011,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, in a statement. “The 2012 price turnaround was strongest in the West and Southwest, where steady job growth and vanishing inventories lifted home prices by more than 10 percent in many markets.”

In the Washington area, asking prices were up 6.4 percent and rents increased 3.2 percent. Prince William County showed the biggest gain in asking prices, up 10.3 percent compared to December 2011. Prince George’s County had the largest gain in rents, up 6.2 percent year-over-year.

Percentage increases in prices and rents by jurisdiction in December 2012

Area YoY prices YoY rents
Prince William 10.3% 5.2%
Prince George’s 8.3% 6.2%
Loudoun 7.2% 6.1%
Fairfax 6.3% 3.9%
DC 5.4% 3.1%
Arlington/Alexandria 4.9% 1.5%
Montgomery 4.4% 1.6%

Source: Trulia

The Trulia Price Monitor and Trulia Rent Monitor are leading indicators for trends in home prices and rents, and are based on the for-sale homes and rentals listed on Trulia’s Web site.

“The housing market enters 2013 with a running start,” Kolko said. “Price gains picked up steam in 2012, starting with modest increases early in the year and accelerating in the third and fourth quarter. In 2013, rising prices will encourage more new construction and will encourage some homeowners to sell, which will help alleviate the current inventory shortage.”