California's April home sales numbers show slight improvement

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The latest home price stats show a glimmer of hope.

The median price for a house in Southern California was $290,000 last month. That’s an increase of almost 4 percent over April of last year — the first time that’s happened in 16 months.

DataQuick, the research firm that compiles the stats, says there are two reasons:

One is that fewer foreclosed properties are selling and their lower prices depress the entire market. The second reason is that more houses are selling in the coastal counties, where prices are higher.

If you’re a homeowner, don’t get too excited. The new median price is only $43,000 higher than the bottom of the market three years ago. And it’s more than $200,000 lower than the peak we hit in 2007, when it was $505,000.

DataQuick calls that a “painfully slow crawl.”

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