California Home Prices Drop 32% Amid Foreclosures, Realtors Say

May 23 (Bloomberg) — California home prices tumbled 32 percent in April from a year earlier as “distressed” properties and a lack of financing cut demand, the state realtors group said.

The median existing home price fell to $403,870, the California Association of Realtors said in a statement today. Sales increased 2.5 percent, ending 30 months of consecutive year-on-year declines. Homes priced under $500,000 accounted for 64 percent of sales compared with 40 percent a year earlier.

California had the second-highest U.S. foreclosure rate in April, one for every 204 households, and the most foreclosure filings for the 16th consecutive month, RealtyTrac Inc., a seller of default data, reported on May 14. Sales increased in northern and southern California last month as buyers purchased discounted properties that had been in some stage of default, DataQuick Information Systems said this week.

“Both tighter underwriting standards and the ongoing effects of the credit/liquidity crunch continue to constrain sales,” William Brown, president of the association, said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Levy in San Francisco at dlevy13@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: May 23, 2008 16:07 EDT
By Dan Levy

Source: Bloomberg

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