Home sales increased 83 percent in February in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home declined 40.8 percent, according to a C.A.R. report released today. "Home sales in California continue to be considerably stronger than the nationwide sales figures," said C.A.R. President James Liptak. "The market will continue to register large, but diminishing year-to-year percentage gains in the coming months, as current sales are compared against the extremely low numbers that prevailed during the early months of the credit crunch."

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 620,410 in February at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. Statewide home resale activity increased 83 percent from the revised 338,970 sales pace recorded in February 2008. Sales in February 2009 decreased 0.8 percent compared with the previous month. The statewide sales figure represents what the total number of homes sold during 2009 would be if sales maintained the February pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.