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California home prices rise for first time since Aug. 2007

I wrote a story last week saying that the California Association of Realtors were readying to announce the first monthly home price rise in two years (one of a handful of signs that home prices might be bottoming). Turns out the median California home price did, indeed, increase by 2.2% in March compared to February, the Realtors group said April 28. But the $253,000 median was down 39% from March 2008.

The increase is encouraging, but it will have to happen consistently before it is safe to call a bottom in California. The unemployment rate is rising and more foreclosures are expected in coming months. So, prices could easily head back down into negative territory.

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