California home sales plunged 26.3 percent in June compared to last year while the median price of an existing home increased 6.2 percent, an industry trade association reported today.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 483,690 in June at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by the California Association of Realtors. That was down from the 656,310 sales pace recorded in June 2005.

The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2006 would be if sales maintained the June pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during June 2006 was $575,800, up from the $542,330 median for June 2005, C.A.R. reported. The June 2006 median price increased 2 percent compared with May’s revised $564,440 median price.

“Mortgage interest rates continued to edge up for the fifth consecutive month in June, contributing in part to a slowdown in sales,” said C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “June 2006 was the first time since late 2001 that the sales pace fell below 500,000 for two consecutive months. Home sales declined 26.3 percent last month compared to June 2005, when they hit the third-highest monthly pace on record.”

C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in June 2006 was 6.2 months, compared with 2.5 months for the same period a year ago. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.

The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 46 days in June 2006, compared with 28 days for the same period a year ago.

Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the highest median home prices in California during June 2006 were: Beverly Hills, $1.88 million; Burlingame, $1.72 million; Manhattan Beach, $1.58 million; Los Altos, $1.54 million; Newport Beach, $1.35 million; Saratoga, $1.31 million; Mill Valley, $1.29 million; Palos Verdes Estates, $1.23 million; Orinda, $1.21 million; and La Cañada Flintridge, $1.15 million.

Statewide, the 10 cities and communities with the greatest median home-price increases in June 2006 compared to the same period a year ago were: Delano, 94 percent; Beverly Hills, 44.9 percent; Barstow, 36.9 percent; Culver City, 35.5 percent; Porterville, 34.6 percent; Paramount, 31.7 percent; Inglewood, 31.3 percent; Laguna Hills, 30.6 percent; Arroyo Grande, 30.5 percent; California City, 28.3 percent.

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