Some home prices still rising

Home sales are still dropping, reflecting a national trend, but median home prices in California are up slightly and mixed in the Bay Area, the latest report from the California Association of Realtors trade group says.

Home sales decreased 22.2 percent in November in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home increased 1.4 percent.

“After fairly steep declines in sales during the first half of the year, the market appears to have stabilized at about 450,000 sales on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis,” state Realtors’ President Colleen Badagliacco said. “The median price is holding steady in the $545,000 to $550,000 range.”

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 450,930 in November at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 22.2 percent from November 2005.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during November 2006 was $555,290, a 1.4 percent increase over the revised $547,870 median for November 2005. The November 2006 median price increased 0.7 percent compared with October.

“Although the statewide median price is on track to post just under a 7 percent increase for the year, there is a mixed picture across the state, with more regions reporting year-to-year declines than increases at this point,” Realtors’ VP and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young said.

Unsold inventory of homes in November 2006 was 7.4 months, compared with 3.6 months (revised) for the same period a year ago. The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 70 days in November 2006, compared with 39 days (revised) for the same period a year ago.

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