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Aug 18, 5:46 PM EDT

California home sales fall in July amid tight supplies



SAN DIEGO (AP) -- California home sales cooled in July, a research firm said Thursday, amid tight supplies and prices that were out of reach for many potential buyers.

There were 41,653 new and existing houses and condominiums sold in the state, down 11 percent from June and 10.3 percent from the same period a year ago, CoreLogic Inc. said. The annual decline is partly because this year had two fewer business days in July than last year, but it also reflects a much slower market than last summer's.

The median sales price was $432,000, little changed from $435,000 in June and up 4.1 percent from $415,000 a year earlier. It marked the 53rd straight month that prices have risen from a year earlier, though increases have moderated in the last two years.

The median price is still well below its peak of $487,000 in May 2007.

The California Association of Realtors blamed low inventory and affordability constraints for the sluggish July, conditions that it expects will continue in the short term. The trade group said there was a 3.6-month supply of unsold single-family homes in the state last month, well below what is considered a normal market of five to seven months.

The San Francisco Bay area posted its weakest July in five years with 7,901 homes sold, a decline of 10.5 percent from June and 13.5 percent from a year ago, according to CoreLogic. It was the fourth straight month that sales fell from a year earlier in the nine-county region.

The Bay area's median sales price was $700,000, down 1.4 percent from an all-time high of $710,000 but down 6.3 percent from $658,500 in July 2015. It ended a three-month run of setting new highs for the region.

Southern California recorded 21,705 home sales in July, down 11.3 percent from a month earlier and down 10.7 percent from July 2015, CoreLogic said. The median sales price in the six-county region was $465,000, unchanged from June and up 6.2 percent from $438,000 in July 2015.

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