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California’s rollercoaster ride to end?

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The up-and-down rollercoaster ride that California home sales and prices have been on for the last several years could finally even out in 2010, although the state will continue to have a bifurcated housing market, the California Association of Realtors said today.The "new normal" for California housing markets -- brisk sales and lean inventory on the low end, coupled with continued roadblocks to closing deals on the high end -- could produce a slight increase in the state's median home price, even as sales cool down a bit, CAR said.In its 2010 forecast, CAR projects the state's median home price will rise 3.3 percent next year to $280,000, even though sales of existing homes are expected to decrease by 2.3 percent, to 527,500 units.After double-digit declines in sales in 2006 and 2007 -- followed by double-digit increases in 2008 and 2009 -- CAR sees sales moderating to "a more sustainable pace" in 2010.During the boom, sales of existing homes peaked at 625,000 i...