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California home prices reach 4-year high

For-sale inventory hits lowest level in 7 years

Persistently declining for-sale home inventory helped push the median price of California homes up to its highest level in four years in August, according to a report released today from the California Association of Realtors. Closed sales of existing single-family homes in the Golden State also saw gains, rising 2.3 percent on an annual basis in August to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 511,240 units. That's a 3.4 percent decline from July, but the fifth straight month to see a year-over-year increase. "A lack of inventory remains an issue, as the housing supply fell more than 30 percent from last year," said LeFrancis Arnold, the association's president, in a statement.  "Inventory levels are at the lowest levels we've seen in seven years, and we are starting to see the supply shortage conditions having a negative impact on sales in the Central Valley and the Inland Empire, where REO (real estate owned) properties are in short supply." For-sale inventor...