San Francisco Bay area lifts California home prices in April

Record highs in the San Francisco Bay area helped lift California home prices last month to their loftiest levels since September 2007, a research firm said Wednesday. Sales were soft.

The median home price in the nine-county Bay area hit $686,000, surpassing its peak in 2007, according to CoreLogic Inc., which has tracked data since 1988. San Francisco County notched its highest-ever median price at $1.3 million, while nearby Santa Clara and Alameda counties also posted record highs.

The tech-heavy Bay area economy fueled California's median sales price to $430,000, up 4 percent from March and 6.3 percent from a year earlier, CoreLogic said. It was the 50th straight annual increase and the highest level since $434,500 in September 2007.

There were an estimated 40,968 new and existing single-family homes and condominiums sold in the state, up 6.3 percent from March but down 1.2 percent from a year earlier.

The lack of affordability, thin supplies and credit constraints kept a lid on sales, CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage said.

The California Association of Realtors reported Monday that there was a 3.5-month supply of unsold homes single-family homes in California last month at the current sales pace, well below normal inventory of five to seven months.

"The supply is growing modestly, and it's just not keeping pace (with demand)," said CoreLogic's LePage.

The Bay area's record-high price of $686,000 marks an increase of 5.5 percent from March and 4.1 percent from April 2015. Sales in the region totaled 7,518 homes last month, up 7.7 percent from March but down 7.3 percent from a year earlier.

In Southern California, the median sales price was $458,000, up 2.2 percent from March and up 6.8 percent from a year earlier. Sales in the six-county region totaled 21,312 homes, up 4.2 percent from March but down 3.2 percent from April 2015.

Sales typically increase between March and April, CoreLogic said.