California sales spike reflects distress

Statewide home price to fall 32% in '08

The statewide median home price will fall an estimated 31.7 percent in 2008, to $381,000 — which is the first annual decline in the state since 1996, according to a California Association of Realtors report released this week. An additional 6 percent drop is expected in 2009, to $358,000.

Meanwhile, sales of resale detached homes are expected to jump 12 percent to 395,600 in 2008 compared to 2007, with a projected additional 12.5 percent gain in 2009.