The median price of an existing home in California in April increased 24.6 percent and sales increased 9.8 percent compared to the same period a year ago, the California Association of Realtors reported today.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during April was $453,590, a 24.6 percent increase over the revised $364,040 median for April 2003, C.A.R. reported. The April 2004 median price increased 5.8 percent compared to a revised $428,570 median price in March.

“The median price of a home surged to another record in April as the traditional spring home-buying season got underway,” said C.A.R. President Ann Pettijohn. “Buyers concerned about potential interest-rate increases later this year jumped into the market, while the supply of homes for sale continued to shrink.”

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 640,710 in April 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 9.8 percent from the 583,330 sales pace recorded in April 2003.

The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2004 would be if sales maintained the April pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“While demand for homes shows no signs of abating, California is simply not adding sufficient housing stock to the supply of homes for sale to meet this need,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, C.A.R.’s vice president and chief economist.

Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the highest median home prices in California during April 2004 were: Malibu, $1,547,500; Beverly Hills, $1,420,000; Los Altos, $1,350,000; Laguna Beach, $1,314,500; Manhattan Beach, $1,265,000; Saratoga, $1,236,000; Calabasas, $1,160,000; Burlingame, $1,100,000; Palos Verdes Estates, $1,012,500; and Newport Beach, $990,000.

Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the greatest median home price increases in April 2004 compared to the same period a year ago were: Calabasas, 66.9 percent, La Verne, 59.7 percent; Culver City, 55.2 percent; Seaside, 49.9 percent; Moorpark, 49.9 percent; Beaumont, 49.2 percent; Santa Paula, 48.1 percent; Monterey Park, 47.4 percent; Paramount, 45.8 percent; and Upland, 45.4 percent.

Los Angeles-based C.A.R. is a state trade organization with more than 135,000 members.

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