The median price for California homes rose for the fourth consecutive month in February, according to a report released March 18 by MDA Dataquick.

The report noted that the 11% increase in the year-over-year median price was due to a dip in foreclosures and an increase in sales of high-end properties.

From the AP story on the report:

DataQuick President John Walsh attributed the ongoing difficulty obtaining financing, as well as job security fears among potential buyers and a decrease in the number of low-priced homes on the market that are affordable to most buyers.

“The sales and price data remain choppy, with more ups and downs than we’d typically see,” Walsh said.
In the nine-county region of Northern California, sales dropped about 1 percent to 4,990 in February from a year earlier. That figure crept up about a percent to more than 15,000 in a six-county region of Southern California.

The median home price in Northern California increased 20 percent to $354,000 last month from $295,000 in February 2009, its fifth consecutive year-to-year increase.

In Southern California, the median price rose 10 percent to $275,000, up from $250,000 in the year-ago period. It was the median’s third consecutive year-to-year increase.

Foreclosures comprised 44.3 percent of statewide resales last month, up from 43.8 last month but down from the all-time high of 58.8 percent reached in February 2009.

Walsh said the volume of homes in various stages of the foreclosure process suggested that the housing market’s outlook would remain murky for some time to come.

“The key question is how much more distressed inventory is coming, and when,” he said.

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