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Median Price for Houses in State Up 11.3% in June

July 28, 1998|From Times Wire Services

California home values and sales continued to soar ahead in June, with the median sales price of an existing, single-family home increasing 11.3% from the same month last year, according to statewide real estate figures released Monday.

The pace of home sales in June jumped nearly 20% on a year-over-year basis to a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 625,100 properties, according to the California Assn. of Realtors. However, the June sales rate--which does not include new homes or condominiums--fell 3.3% from May.

"While sales and price gains are expected to moderate somewhat as the impact of the Asian economic crisis reaches California's shores, we expect the real estate market to remain strong as equity-rich homeowners trade up to bigger homes," said Tim Corliss, president of the real estate agent and broker trade group.

Nationwide sales of existing homes also dipped in June from May's high level but are still expected to set a record in 1998, a real estate group said Monday. The National Assn. of Realtors said sales fell 2.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million units. The decline followed a 1.3% rise in May to 4.83 million.

David Lereah, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Assn., said the monthly drop does not spell the end of a healthy housing market.

"I think it's a very strong report even though it was down," he said. "The level was very, very high and I think we're going to see more of these levels for months to come."

In California, the median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in June rose 11.3% from the same month last year to $210,140--the highest level since May 1991. The June median sales price rose 2.7% from the previous month.

"The supply of available homes is approaching new lows in many parts of the state," said Leslie Appleton-Young, vice president and chief economist for the state real estate association. "Homes are now selling faster than in the 1980s, which is contributing to the rising price trend."

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