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Home-price rises to slow in California in 2015, trade group projects

Home-price rises to slow in California in 2015, trade group projects
Signs direct home shoppers to open houses in Huntington Beach in June 2014. (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)

It may get easier to find the home of your dreams.

A 2015 California housing market forecast out Tuesday points to more homes on sale and fewer investors competing with families. It also has some good news regarding home prices, at least for those looking to purchase.

"Next year, home price gains will slow, allowing would-be buyers who have been saving for a down payment to be in a better financial position to make a home purchase," said Kevin Brown, president of the California Assn. of Realtors, which released the forecast.

The report follows a continued trend in the California housing market. After robust price gains in 2012 and 2013, prices increases tapered off this year. Even though more homes came on the market, sales dropped as would-be buyers struggled to afford a house.

But next year an improving economy and still-low interest rates will make affordability less of a problem, said Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the Realtors group.

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The trade organization predicts sales of previously owned single-family homes will rise 5.8% next year after an 8.2% projected decline in 2014.

The state median home price will rise 5.2% next year to $478,700, the Realtors group projects. That would be the smallest increase in four years and would follow an estimated 11.8% increase for 2014.

Want more housing news? Follow me on Twitter @khouriandrew

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