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California Home Sales Sink in May

californiaSales in California once again came in below average last month as the statewide median price inched up ever higher.

In May, sales throughout the state totaled an estimated 37,734 units, down 0.7 percent from April and 14.4 percent from May 2013, according to DataQuick. The figure includes both new and existing homes as well as condos.

Compared to the long-term May average, last month's sales were down 18.3 percent. "California sales haven't been above average for any particular month in more than eight years," the company said in its latest report.

Of the existing homes sold during the month, DataQuick estimates 6 percent were properties that had been foreclosed on during the past year, while 6.9 percent were short sales.

The median price paid for a home in the Golden State in May was $386,000, an increase of 0.8 percent month-over-month and the highest since December 2007, when it was down to $402,000 from the year's earlier peak of $484,000.

A year ago, the median price statewide was $340,000. May marked the 27th straight month in which the state's median sales price was up compared to a year prior.

Meanwhile, the typical monthly mortgage payment that California buyers committed to paying in May was $1,508, putting it between $1,523 recorded in April and $1,227 in May 2013.

Overall, the company concluded signs of market distress remain in decline: "Foreclosure activity remains well below year-ago and peak levels reached in the last six years. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, while down payment sizes are stable," DataQuick reported.

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