California Home Prices Have Biggest Increase in 8 Years

California home prices rose 25 percent in the 12 months through November, the most in eight years, as demand rose in expensive coastal areas, the state Realtors group said.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home was $349,300 last month, up from $279,910 a year earlier, the California Association of Realtors said today in a statement. The last time prices had a larger gain was in June 2004, the Los Angeles-based group said.

California’s median price was driven up by a decline in sales in lower-priced areas of the most populous U.S. state, and an increase in transactions involving mid- and higher-priced homes, the Realtors said.

“The significant increase in price was due in part to the change in the mix of sales,” Leslie Appleton-Young, the group’s chief economist, said in the statement. “Coastal markets, which tend to have high-end properties, accounted for a larger share of total sales and led to strong price gains overall.”

California homes sold at an annual pace of 518,290 last month, up 2.7 percent from a year earlier, the association said. The figure is the total number of properties that would be sold during 2012 should sales maintain their November pace throughout the year. Sales dropped 4.9 percent from October.

“As we approach the new year, it is likely that sales and price will remain solid moving forward,” Appleton-Young said. The market’s strength is dependent upon both the economy and Congress maintaining the federal mortgage-interest deduction for taxpayers, she said.

In the San Francisco Bay area, the median home price climbed 26 percent from a year earlier to $588,800. It fell 0.7 percent from October, the Realtors group said. In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the median was $327,840 last month, up 22 percent from a year earlier and 2.9 percent from October.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nadja Brandt in Los Angeles at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at

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