California's housing-market slump showed hints of improvement in March, with sales of existing single-family homes increasing 64% from the prior-year period and median home prices rising month-to-month for the first time since August 2007, according to a trade group report.

California's inventory of unsold homes in March fell to a three-year low of five months, according to a report from California Association of Realtors. That compares with 12.2 months of inventory the group reported for March 2008.

The state saw sales of 522,980 existing single-family homes in March, compared with 319,290 in the year-earlier period, the report said. Home prices remained sharply down from a year ago: The March median price of $253,000 was up from $247,590 in February 2009 but down 39% from March 2008 levels.

Wall Street Journal