By Jim Droz

The influx of distressed properties contributed to the drop in home prices in California in July. The median price for new and resale houses and condominiums in the state last month was $252,000, down 0.4 percent from June and down 6 percent from July 2010.

California’s median – the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less – has dropped year-over-year for 10 consecutive months. The median’s bottom for the current real estate cycle was $221,000 in April 2009, and the peak was $484,000 in early 2007.

Of the existing homes sold in July, 34.6 percent had been foreclosed on during the past year. The peak was in February 2009 at 58.5 percent. Short sales – transactions in which the sale price is less than what was owed on the property – made up about 18 percent of resales last month.

The July median price in Southern California fell 4 percent from a year earlier to $283,000. The median price in the San Francisco Bay Area was $374,000, down 7 percent from July 2010.

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