Although the median price of an existing home in California in July was 21 percent higher than a year ago, prices fell from the previous month’s record-high of $469,170, according to the California Association of Realtors.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during July 2004 was $463,540, a 21.4 percent increase over the revised $381,940 median for July 2003, C.A.R. reported. The July 2004 median price decreased 1.1 percent compared to a revised $468,620 median price in June 2004.

Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the highest median home prices in California during July 2004 were: Laguna Beach, $1,479,500; Los Altos, $1,343,000; Manhattan Beach, $1,320,000; Newport Beach, $1,295,000; Burlingame, $1,250,000; San Marino, $1,200,750; Coronado, $1,182,500; Saratoga, $1,105,000; La Canada-Flintridge, $1,075,000; and Beverly Hills, $1,013,000.

Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the greatest median home price increases in July 2004 compared to the same period a year ago were: Seaside, 82.8 percent; Laguna Beach, 65.7 percent; Loma Linda, 63.9 percent; Montebello, 63 percent; Santa Paula, 56.2 percent; California City, 55 percent; Adelanto, 54.8 percent; Rancho Santa Margarita, 51.1 percent; Yucca Valley, 50 percent; and Oceanside, 48.4 percent.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 639,910 in July 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 7.4 percent from the 595,860 sales pace recorded in July 2003.

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

“While year-to-date sales have increased 7.4 percent, we expect to see them level off in the coming months as increases in the supply of homes and interest-rate expectations temper consumers’ concerns about the recent pace of the real estate market,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, C.A.R.’s vice president and chief economist.

The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 25 days in July 2004, compared to 26 days (revised) for the same period a year ago.

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

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