The median home price has climbed once more above a half million dollars for the first in six years.

The median price for a single-family home reached 508,500 in July, according to The Press Democrat’s monthly housing report.  It rose 2.5 percent from June and 6.2 percent from a year earlier.

The monthly median price hasn’t been this high since January 2008.

The new data suggests that the market has reached about 80 percent of the record value of 619,000 it attained at the top of the market in August of 2005, well before the housing market started falling fast in late 2007.

The low was 305,000 in February 2009. During the crash in prices, more than 15,000 county homeowners lost properties in foreclosures or short sales.

In July, buyers purchased 498 single-family homes, an increase of 1.4 percent from a year earlier. For the entire year, home sales have decreased 8.6 percent from same period in 2013.

I believe the lower sales are due partly to a lack of inventory and partly due to a lack of affordable homes on the market.  July ended with roughly a two-month’s supply of inventory at the current sales pace. As a result, buyers often are competing for the same properties.

So far this year, sales of homes priced below 300,000 have declined 67 percent, while those for homes priced at or above 700,000 have increased 30 percent.

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