Industry News

California home sales plunge 15.5%

Unsold inventory levels climb to highest in several years, trade group says

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Existing-home sales dropped significantly in California in February, falling 15.5 percent from the same period a year ago, as inventory levels climbed and median prices continued to escalate, an industry trade group reported today. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 513,745 in February at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down from 608,160 a year ago, according to the California Association of Realtors. Median prices increased 13.7 percent to $535,470 from $470,920 a year ago. Meanwhile, the February 2006 median price of an existing home in the state decreased 2.9 percent compared with January's $551,300 median price. The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2006 would be if sales maintained the February pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales. "Sales posted a slight increase last month compared with January 2006, a...