Sales of existing homes in California fell 5.1 percent from July to August, but the statewide median home price notched a sixth consecutive month of gains and inventories remained below their historic average, the California Association of Realtors reported.

At $292,960, the median price for a single-family home was up 2.6 percent from July, but down 16.9 percent from a year ago.

Sales of existing homes in California fell 5.1 percent from July to August, but the statewide median home price notched a sixth consecutive month of gains and inventories remained below their historic average, the California Association of Realtors reported.

At $292,960, the median price for a single-family home was up 2.6 percent from July, but down 16.9 percent from a year ago.

Existing single-family homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 526,970 during August, a slower pace than July but a 9 percent increase from a year ago.

At that rate of sales, the inventory of unsold homes represented 4.3 months of supply, up from 3.9 months in July but down from seven months a year ago.

Six months of supply is generally considered an even balance between supply and demand. In California, the statewide average over the long term is 7.2 months, CAR said.

Homes were on the market an average of 35 days before they sold, compared with 48 days a year ago, the report said.

The large number of distressed properties on the market and low interest rates have helped boost sales 38 percent year to date, said CAR’s chief economist, Leslie Appleton-Young.

In a separate report based on public records gathered by DataQuick Information Systems, CAR said median home prices were down in comparison to a year ago in 359 of 388 cities and communities tracked.

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