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RISMEDIA, January 4, 2010—Home sales increased 4.7% in November 2009 in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home rose 5.8%, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) recently reported.

“First-time buyers continued to drive the market in November, as many opened escrow to take advantage of the federal tax credit prior to its original Nov. 30 expiration,” said C.A.R. President Steve Goddard. “The extension and expansion of the tax credit until April 30, 2010, along with low interest rates, should continue to positively impact the market in coming months.

“Efforts by lenders and the government to assist homeowners at risk of foreclosure have led to fewer homes available for sale, and an increase in the state’s median home price. California’s median home price increased year over year in November for the first time since August 2007,” added Goddard.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 536,720 in November at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local Realtor associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity increased 4.7% from the revised 512,840 sales pace recorded in November 2008. Sales in November 2009 decreased 4.6% compared with the previous month. The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2009 would be if sales maintained the November pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during November 2009 was $304,520, a 5.8% increase from the revised $287,880 median for November 2008, C.A.R. reported. The November 2009 median price rose 2.4% compared with October’s $297,500 median price. “With sales bottoming out more than two years ago, and the median home price reaching its trough in February 2009, California remains ahead of the nation in market recovery,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie-Appleton-Young. “The median price for most regions hit bottom during the first half of the year, and the statewide median home price now is nearly $60,000 higher than its lowest point in the current cycle. “California home buyers have responded to the much-improved affordability over the last several months,” she said. “Despite November’s uptick in the median home price, affordability in the state remains near historic highs.”

For more information, visit www.car.org.