San Fernando Valley home sales rose 13.4 percent in June and median home prices rose 5.5 percent as the summer home-buying season got off to a strong start.

The San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University Northridge found that in June, 1,567 homes were sold across the Valley. That figure is up from 1,382 sales last June.

The largest increase was in the Northwest Valley, which saw a 30 percent sales increase, while the only area that saw sales go down was in the Southeast, where sales fell 6 percent year-over-year.

“It looks like sales this summer will be much improved over sales last year,” William W. Roberts, the center’s director, said in the report.

Median home prices climbed 5.5 percent for a single-family, detached home, to $590,000. Valley median home prices peaked at $660,000 in May 2007 but had declined to $347,500 by March 2009.

The median price has hovered around $550,000 for the past year, with movement above that level during the past three months. “I expect slow and steady price increases over the next six months,” Roberts said.

He also saw a surprisingly low level of mortgage defaults, which were at 227 for June, down 13.7 percent from a year earlier. The decline in defaults might signal that the economic recovery is being felt more strongly than anticipated in the Valley, he said.

Foreclosures are low and continuing to drop, with June’s 64 Valley foreclosures down 22.5 percent from a year ago, according to the report.