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California Home Prices Rise 3.9 Percent in July

Above: A sold sign is posted in front of a home at a new housing development.

— The median price of homes statewide rose 3.9 percent in July, compared to June, and in Los Angeles prices rose 6.1 percent, according to figures released today by the California Association of Realtors.

"July marked the fifth consecutive month of month-to-month increases in the median price," said Leslie Appleton-Young, C.A.R.'s chief economist. "This was the largest increase on record for the month of July based on statistics dating back to 1979."

Statewide, single-family home sales increased 12 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 553,910 on an annualized basis.

The median price in Los Angeles County for July was $339,430. Despite the increase, the median price was down 14.1 percent from July 2008, according to C.A.R. Statewide, the median price for July was $285,480, down 19.6 percent from the same month in 2008.

"Favorable home prices in the low end of the market continue to propel sales of homes priced less than $500,000," said Appleton-Young. "This price segment now accounts for 74 percent of the market share compared with just 43 percent prior to the start of the credit crunch."

Thirty-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 5.22 percent during July 2009, compared with 6.43 percent in July 2008, according to Freddie Mac.

The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 39.9 days in July 2009, compared with 47.8 days for the same period a year ago.

Statewide, the cities with the greatest median home price increases in July 2009 compared with the same period a year ago were: Laguna Hills, 40.5 percent; Newport Beach, 13.5 percent; Moorpark, 11.2 percent; Poway, 10.8 percent; San Marcos, 8.6 percent; Emeryville, 7.6 percent; Santa Barbara, 6.3 percent; Arcadia, 5.8 percent; Big Bear Lake, 5.5 percent; and West Hollywood, 5 percent.

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