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UPDATE

Rise in home prices, slip in sales forecast

October 05, 2003|From Times wire and staff reports

While the median price of a home in California is expected to reach a new high in 2004, home sales will decline from this year's record pace, according to the California Assn. of Realtors.

The trade group forecasts a median home price of $414,000, up 13% from $366,450 in 2003. Home sales will slip 4.5% to 548,000 units from this year's expected record of 574,000 units, but that still would be the third-strongest housing market in the state's history.

CAR economists attributed the continuing spike in prices to the housing shortage statewide. California typically gains nearly 250,000 new households a year, but only 190,000 units will be built this year.

The percentage of Californians who will be able to afford a median-priced home in 2004 will fall to 19%, according to the realty trade group.

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