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California home price gains slow in April

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News,Business,Real Estate,California,Housing,San Francisco

SAN DIEGO (AP) — California home prices rose in April at their slowest pace in more than a year, while sales fell but less dramatically, a real estate research firm said Wednesday.

The median sales price of $383,000 was up 2 percent from March and 18 percent from April of 2013.

Prices have jumped year-over-year for 26 months. But this was the first time in nearly 1½ years that the increase was less than 20 percent, according to San Diego-based DataQuick Inc.

Nearly 38,000 homes and condominiums were sold in the state, up 15.4 percent from March. That month-to-month gain was much larger than the average increase of around 3 percent between March and April.

However, sales were down nearly 3 percent compared to April 2013. Sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis for seven months in a row, but this was the smallest decline yet, DataQuick reported.

A higher inventory of homes may have eased prices.

The latest figures from the California Association of Realtors show that California had a four-month supply of homes for sale in March, compared to a 2.9-month supply a year earlier.

There were other indicators that the housing market was improving.

"Foreclosure activity remains well below year-ago and peak levels reached in the last five years. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, while down payment sizes are stable," DataQuick said in a statement.

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