The November median price of an existing home in Los Angeles County rose slightly from a month earlier as sales declined across Southern California, the California Association of Realtors reported Thursday.


The median price of $575,310 was 3.2 percent higher than in October and 21.2 percent higher than November 2004's $474,720. Sales of median-priced homes in L.A. fell 1.6 percent from October and 4.8 percent from November 2004, the association said.


Statewide, the median price of an existing home edged up 1.8 percent from October and 16.2 percent from a year earlier. Sales plunged 6.8 percent from October and 11.2 percent from November 2004.


The results confirm other home sales reports, including a Business Journal analysis published two weeks ago. That is, a market that shows signs of peaking on price and declining in sales volume.


The pattern of higher prices and lower sales was seen elsewhere in Southern California. In Orange County, the median price of $695,500 was only 9.8 percent higher than a year ago; sales were down 13.5 percent over that same period. San Diego County's median price of $616,840 was 9.2 percent above November 2004, and its sales dipped 11.4 percent from the year-prior period.


Four of the top 10 cities with the highest median home prices in California during November were in L.A. County: Manhattan Beach, $1,803,000 (No, 1); Palos Verdes Estates, $1,350,000 (No. 4); Rancho Palos Verdes, $1,197,500 (No. 7); and Calabasas, $1,195,000 (No. 8).


Thirty-year fixed mortgage interest rates averaged 6.33 percent during November, compared with 5.73 percent in November 2004, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable mortgage interest rates averaged 5.14 percent last month, compared with 4.15 percent in a year prior. The average number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 39 days in November, compared with 36 days for the same period a year ago, the CAR reported.

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