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California housing market shows signs of improvement

May 17, 2012|By Alejandro Lazo
  • A worker tapes a window ledge while working on a home in San Diego's San Elijo Hills community.
A worker tapes a window ledge while working on a home in San Diego's… (Sam Hodgson / Bloomberg )

From the Southland to the Bay Area, California's housing market showed strength last month as median prices rose and sales outperformed the same month last year.

The Golden State’s median home price popped 6% in April to $264,000, according to real estate information firm DataQuick of San Diego. The median is the point at which half the homes in the state sold for more and half for less.

In Southern California and the Bay Area, the share of home sales that were foreclosures declined significantly, which economists see as key because sales of those homes tend to drag prices down.

“It appears that the market is taking a step in the direction of normalization, but only a step,” DataQuick President John Walsh said. “The mortgage market is critical, as is market mix and the receding importance of foreclosure resales.”

A total of 38,241 newly built and previously owned houses, town homes and condominiums sold throughout the state in April. That was up 2% from March and up 8.6% from April 2011. The total also was the highest for any April since 2006, DataQuick said, and the ninth consecutive month that sales have improved year over year.

Sales of foreclosed homes made up 30.3% of resale homes last month, down from a revised 32.8% in March and from 36.4% in April 2011. Short sales statewide made up 18.3% of the market, down from 19.1% in March but up from 16.9% in April 2011.

In Southern California last month, the median home price rose 3.6% from a year earlier to $290,000 and sales rose 5.1% to 19,284. The Bay Area’s median home price rose 8.3% to $360,000, and sales rose 13.1% to 7,675.

RELATED:

Newest housing data show improvements

Foreclosure activity sinks to a five-year low

Gov. Brown has his own plans for mortgage settlement cash

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