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VALLEY HOME PRICES POST MODEST RISE STATEWIDE SALES DOWN 12.6 PERCENT.

Byline: Staff and Wire Services

While home sales across California fell 12.6 percent in January, median home prices in the San Fernando Valley posted a modest rise from the previous year, according to a report released Tuesday.

The median price of an existing home in the Valley rose 4.6 percent, to $554,500, compared with January 2006.

"On a regional basis, sales fell an average of 13 percent, while median prices declined in all areas except Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Riverside/San Bernardino," California Association of Realtors President Colleen Badagliacco said in the report.

Sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 437,580 in January, according to the Los Angeles-based C.A.R, down from the 500,470 sales recorded in January 2006.

"After holding steady in the range of 450,000 units on a seasonally adjusted annual basis since July of last year, home sales activity was slightly lower in January," Badagliacco added.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during January 2007 was $559,640, a 1.9 percent increase over the revised $549,460 median for January 2006, C.A.R. reported.

Much of the Valley saw an increase in median home prices -- the point at which half the homes cost more and half less -- for January. Encino boasted a 64 percent rise to $722,500. Woodland Hills enjoyed a 35.8 percent increase to $720,000. Northridge's increase was 9 percent to $730,000. Van Nuys saw an increase of 4.4 percent to $567,000. A year ago, the median home price in January was $530,000.

Los Angeles County saw the second-highest level of median home appreciation in the state, at $586,980, up from $560,740 in January 2006. The county's appreciation was second only to Marin.

L.A.'s strong showing speaks to the area's large and diversified economy that does not rely too heavily on just one sector, said real estate analyst Patrick Duffy.

Statewide, the median home price rose 1.9 percent to $559,640. But it decreased 1.7 percent compared with December's revised $569,560 median price. The state median includes existing, single-family detached homes while city and county figures encompass all homes sold.

Unsold inventory of existing homes jumped to 9.1 months in January after hovering around seven months since mid-2006, according to association vice president and chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young.

"There was a slight increase in statewide listings last month, which is characteristic of the start of the year," Appleton-Young said.

Single-family homes took longer to sell in January, sitting on the market a median of 75 days, compared with 48 days for the same period a year ago.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Financial report
Date:Feb 28, 2007
Words:456
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