June 27, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of new and existing homes in California continued to follow the traditional spring selling pattern, increasing by over nine percent from the previous month, while home prices showed solid gains for a third consecutive month according to real estate information provider DataQuick.

An estimated total of 41,790 new and existing homes and condos were sold in the Golden State in May. That was 9.3 percent higher than the 38,241 homes sold in April and 17.6 percent higher than the 35,536 homes sold in May 2011.

Home sales in the state typically increase about six percent between April and May. Despite being 10.4 percent below the historical average of 46,638 sales for the month, it was still the best showing for the month since 2006.

The median sales price for a home in California increased 2.3 percent to $270,000 from $264,000 in April and was 8.4 percent higher than the median price of $249,000 posted in May of 2011. It was the third consecutive increase in year-over-year prices in the state following 18 months of declines.

The statewide current cycle peak price was $484,000 in early 2007, while the low during the current cycle was $221,000 in May 2009.

Distressed property sales accounted for 46.4 percent of all re-sales in May, down from a revised 48.6 percent in April, with homes that had been foreclosed on in the previous twelve months accounting for 28.3 percent of the existing home sales. That was down from a revised 30.3 percent in April and down from 35.3 percent in May of 2011.

Foreclosure re-sales are about half of what they were since the market peak in February 2009 when foreclosure re-sales accounted for 58.5 percent of the resale market.

Short sales accounted for an estimated 18.1 percent of all re-sales last month, unchanged from April. In May of last year, short sales accounted for 17.6 percent of all existing home sales.

Tags: California, new and re-sale homes, condos, sales, median home prices, distressed properties, short sales, typical mortgage payment