The median price of an existing home in California in August increased 20.1 percent to a record $568,890, the California Association of Realtors reported Monday. Sales increased 7 percent compared from August 2004 to August 2005 – the second strongest August sales figure on record since 1979. "While fixed mortgage interest rates have not increased, adjustable rates have risen in reaction to the Federal Reserve and a more general increase in short-term rates," said Jim Hamilton, association president. "Since more buyers are relying on adjustable-rate mortgages to finance the purchase of their homes, buyers may be moving more quickly to make the home purchase decision in anticipation of future rate increases. This is adding more pressure to the price of a home." Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 632,240 in August at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by from more than 90 local Realtor ass...
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