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California Median Home Price Passed $400,000 Last Month

May 15 (Bloomberg) -- California’s median home price surpassed $400,000 for the first time in five years as rising demand and a tight supply of properties for sale drove up values, the state’s Realtors association said today.

The median price for an existing, single-family detached home climbed to $402,760 last month, up from $378,960 in March and the first time since April 2008 that the $400,000 mark was exceeded, the Los Angeles-based group said in a statement.

Mortgage rates close to record lows and a limited number of properties for sale are combining to increase competition and boost prices throughout the U.S. In California, the amount of unsold inventory dropped to 2.8 months -- the time it would take to sell the supply of homes at the current pace -- from 4.2 months a year earlier. A six-to-seven-month supply is considered normal, the Realtors association said.

In the San Francisco Bay area, the median home price was higher than $500,000 for the first time in almost five years, research firm DataQuick said today in a separate report. The median in the nine-county area rose almost 31 percent from a year earlier to $510,000. The half-million-dollar mark was last surpassed in May 2004, the San Diego-based company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Taub in Los Angeles at dtaub@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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