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California's median home price falls 34% in October

November 21, 2008|Associated Press

Despite an increasingly uncertain economy, home buyers in California kept snatching up foreclosed homes last month, dragging down the median home price by 34% from a year earlier, a real estate tracking firm said Thursday.

The statewide median home price plunged to $278,000 in October, compared with $424,000 in the year-ago period, according to MDA DataQuick in San Diego.

October's median price was down 1.8% from September.

About half the drop in the median price was the result of depreciation, while the other half came from a shift in sales toward distressed homes and the way those homes are financed, DataQuick said.

"What happens next to housing will be determined by the fate of the economy, and especially the job market, as well as the outcome of recently announced efforts to curb foreclosures," said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick's president.

Statewide home sales jumped nearly 64% from a year earlier to 42,293 and nearly 5% from September.

October's sales were the strongest since December 2006, when 43,431 homes were sold, according to DataQuick, which has kept the statistics since 1988.

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