California Home Sales, Prices Inch Up

The median price of a home in California is up from a year ago, sales are rising, and foreclosure resales are declining — all signs that the housing market may be undergoing a sustained recovery, a tracking firm said this week.

About 35,860 new and resale houses and condos were sold statewide last month, up 11.5 percent from about 32,160 in November 2008, said San Diego-based MDA DataQuick. Sales fell 13.1 percent from October, but a decline in sales from October to November is normal for the season.

The median price paid for a home in California last month was $261,000, up 1.6 percent from $257,000 in October and up 1.2 percent from $258,000 a year ago.

The year-over-year increase was the first since July 2007, when the $478,000 median price was up 0.8 percent from $474,000 a year earlier, DataQuick said.

Last month also saw the lowest percentage of foreclosure resales in more than a year.

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