Home sales rise in Calif. for 3rd month as banks slash prices

For the third straight month, Sacramneto-area home sales climbed above figures for the same time last year, a welcome indicator in a region searching for the bottom of its long housing slump. But median prices continued to slide.

The 3,922 June escrow closings in Amador, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties were the most since June 2006, DataQuick Information Systems reported Thursday.

Heavily discounted repossessed homes, however, have pushed median sales prices across the region to 4 1/2-, five- and even almost six-year lows, according to DataQuick statistics.

Analysts say buyers are reaping rewards of a steep falloff in prices across the last year. Driving the phenomenon are thousands of foreclosures and bank repossessions.

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