SALES INCREASED 43.4 PERCENT; MEDIAN HOME PRICE FELL 40.3 PERCENT IN JULY. Home sales increased 43.4 percent in July in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home fell 40.3 percent, C.A.R. reported Monday.

“Sales improved significantly in July 2008 and remained above the 400,000 level for the third consecutive month,” said C.A.R. President William E. Brown. “Deeply-discounted, distressed sales continue to drive volume in many regions of the state. July also was the first full month during which the effects of higher $729,000 conforming loan limits likely had an impact on closed sales.”

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during July 2008 was $350,760, a 40.3 percent decrease from the revised $587,560 median for July 2007. The July 2008 median price fell 4.5 percent compared with June’s revised $367,130 median price.

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