California is seeing a housing recovery of sorts with the median sales price reaching a four-year high in July and home sales rising 15.3% from last year, the California Association of Realtors said.
The month of July brought 529,230 home sales in California, up 2% from June's rate of 518,680 sales.
Closed escrow sales for existing, single-family homes also grew 15.3% from last year when the state's sales pace reached 459,140 units, C.A.R added.
Looking at the median price, it reached a four-year high of $333,860 in July, up 4.2% from $320,540 in June and 12.7% from a revised $296,160 in July 2011. That's the highest median price recorded since August 2008 when the median hit $352,730.
"It's hard to generalize the state of California's housing market because the markets are so diverse and are performing so differently," said C.A.R. president LeFrancis Arnold. "REO-dominated areas such as those in the Inland Empire and Central Valley are experiencing sales constraints due to an extreme shortage of available homes. On the other hand, a robust economy in the San Francisco Bay area and a relatively larger inventory at higher price levels is helping to fuel sales and prices."
The median price went higher as sales in the lower-range of the pricing market declined and more sales occurred in the above-$500,000 market.
"As an example, in July, sales of homes priced below $200,000 declined 9.4% from the previous year, and homes priced above $500,000 climbed 27.7% from a year ago," CAR said.
The median number of days it took to sell a California single-family home in July fell slightly from 43.4 days in June to 43.2 days in July. Last year, it took about 51.9 days to sell a home in the state.