By Alejandro Lazo
May 17, 2012, 2:22 p.m.

From the Southland to the Bay Area, California’s housing market showed strength last month as median prices rose and sales outperformed the same month last year.

The Golden State’s median home price popped 6% in April to $264,000, according to real estate information firm DataQuick of San Diego. The median is the point at which half the homes in the state sold for more and half for less.

In Southern California and the Bay Area, the share of home sales that were foreclosures declined significantly, which economists see as key because sales of those homes tend to drag prices down.

“It appears that the market is taking a step in the direction of normalization, but only a step,” DataQuick President John Walsh said. “The mortgage market is critical, as is market mix and the receding importance of foreclosure resales.”

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