The median price of an existing single-family home in California increased 5.7 percent in February and sales decreased 9.6 percent compared with the same period a year ago, C.A.R. recently reported. "Sales in February were at their highest level in eight months, posting their smallest year-to-year decline in 14 months," said C.A.R. President Colleen Badagliacco. "Next month’s report could tell a different story since sales last year peaked in March. Looking forward, we are likely to see smaller year-to-year declines as we enter the traditional buying season. Homes that are well maintained and are priced to reflect the realities of today’s market will continue to sell."

According to the report, the median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during February was $564,700, a 5.7 percent increase over the revised $534,400 median for February 2006. Also last month, closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 464,560 at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 9.6 percent compared with the sales pace recorded one year earlier and up 6.2 percent from home resale activity in January 2006.

"Statewide, the number of homes for sale increased slightly in February and remain just above the long-run average," said C.A.R. Vice President Leslie Appleton-Young. "The unsold inventory index stood at 8.8 months in February, compared with 8.3 months in January, with the San Francisco B