California home prices jump 26 percent in May

SAN DIEGO - A research firm says California home prices posted a 15th straight annual increase last month.

DataQuick said Thursday that the median price for new and existing houses and condominiums reached $340,000 in May, up 26 percent from the same period last year. The median rose by $16,000 from April to its highest level since April 2008, when it was $354,000.

Sales increased 1 percent from last year to nearly 43,000 homes. It is the strongest May sales tally since 2006.

Foreclosed properties, which tend to sell at deep discounts, made up a smaller part of the sales mix. Homes that were foreclosed upon during the previous year accounted for 11 percent of existing home sales, down from a peak of nearly 60 percent in early 2009.

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