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Local home prices on the rise

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The median price of a single-family home in Riverside County edged up a half-percent last month -- the ninth straight month of increases throughout the county, the California Association of Realtors reported today.

The median home price countywide was $245,830 in February, compared to $244,780 in January, according to CAR.

On a year-to-year level, prices were 22.5 percent higher; in February 2012, the median price of a single-family dwelling was $200,730, CAR data showed.

Statewide, the median price was $333,880 last month, compared to $337,360 in January -- down 1 percent. There was an increase year-over-year, however, of 24.2 percent; in February 2012, the median price of a single-family unit in California was $268,810.

The median represents the point at which half of homes sell above a price, and the other half below it.

According to CAR's Unsold Inventory Index, the average home in California is on the market for 34 days before it sells. In Riverside County, it's 40 days.

Statewide, there's a 3.6-month supply of unsold homes, according to the CAR index.

"With housing inventory dropping nearly 39 percent from a year ago, supply constraints continued to propel strong gains in the median price, but also intensified market competition," said CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.

"With an imbalance between supply and demand, home buyers have been fiercely competing with each other," she said. "More than half of home sales are receiving multiple offers, with homes getting an average of four to five offers, and some even more."

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