We bring this to you directly from the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.):

According to the California Association of REALTORS’® April 2010 Sales/Price Report, home sales decreased 8.1 percent in April in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home rose 21 percent.

The State Association believes that the State tax credit that went into effect May 1 created an incentive for many buyers to postpone closing escrow so they could take advantage of both the State and federal tax credits that were available. It anticipates that the pace of closed sales will edge up in May and June as these tax-incentivized transactions close.

The report observes, “Mortgage interest rates continue to hover near their historic lows, and many buyers are out in force to take advantage of the combination of low interest rates and affordably priced homes. It’s an ideal time for many families to purchase their first home even though they may face stiff competition.”

Highlights of CAR’s April 2010 Sales/Price Report:

* C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in April 2010 was 5.1 months, compared with five months (revised) for the same period a year ago. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.

* Thirty-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 5.10 percent during April 2010, compared with 4.81 percent in April 2009, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 4.16 percent in April 2010, compared with 4.82 percent in April 2009.

* The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 39.4 days in April 2010, compared with 48.1 days (revised) for the same period a year ago.

* Statewide, the 10 cities with the highest median home prices in California during April 2010 were: Manhattan Beach, $1,572,500; Saratoga, $1,440,000; Los Altos, $1,428,750; Mill Valley, $1,200,000; Laguna Beach, $1,162,500; Cupertino, $1,120,000; Newport Beach, $1,037,500; Los Gatos, $1,034,000; Calabasas, $925,000; and Santa Monica, $870,000.

* Statewide, the cities with the greatest median home price increases in April 2010 compared with the same period a year ago were: Richmond, 63.2 percent; Pittsburg, 56.7 percent; Tulare, 37 percent; San Bernardino, 37 percent; Cupertino, 35.7 percent; Monterey Park, 33.9 percent; Tustin, 31.6 percent; Highland, 29.2 percent; Manteca, 28.1 percent; Lancaster, 27.6 percent; and Seaside, 26.9 percent.

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