- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

SAN DIEGO (AP) - California home sales slid sharply in November from a month earlier, extending an autumn cool down as prices rose, a research firm said Thursday.

Sales typically slow in November as buyers and sellers turn attention to Thanksgiving and winter holidays, but this year’s decline was unusually sharp. A drop of 20.5 percent from October compares with an average decline of 8.9 percent since CoreLogic Inc. began tracking sales in 1988.

Sales totaling 31,014 homes were still up 2.9 percent from November 2014, and the latest month-to-month decline follows a brisk summer. Analysts expressed little concern about a broader slowdown while interest rates remained low and the economy was relatively strong.

“The fundamentals are still fine,” said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, a consulting firm based in Los Angeles. “Nothing’s out of whack.”

The median sales price was $415,000, up 2.5 percent from in $405,000 in October and up 7.5 percent from $386,000 in November 2014, CoreLogic said. It marked the 45th straight month of annual price increases, though gains have moderated since the middle of 2014.

Sales in the San Francisco Bay area totaled 6,427 homes, down 15.6 percent from October but up 6.3 percent from last year. The median sales price in the nine-county region was $649,000, up 2.2 percent from $635,000 in October and up 6 percent from $612,250 a year earlier.

Southern California sales totaled 16,122 homes, down 19.1 percent from October but up 2.4 percent from November 2014. The median sales price in the six-county region was $438,000, little changed from $435,000 in October and up 6.8 percent from $410,300 a year earlier.

Thin supplies kept a lid on sales. The California Association of Realtors said Wednesday that there was a 4.2-month supply of unsold single-family homes in the state in November, compared to a normal supply of five to seven months.

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