Sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California fell 4.1% from June to a seasonally adjusted 458,440 units in July but remained 4.5% ahead of the pace at the same time last year, the California Association of Realtors said Monday.

The statewide median price declined 0.3% in July to $294,230 from a revised $295,210 in June, down 7.6% from $318,550 in July 2010.

Inventory rose to a 5.5-months supply, up from 5.0 months in June and flat with last July. The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 52.1, up from 42.4 days a year earlier.

"Although July sales improved over last year, they were somewhat weaker than expected, given current prices and mortgage rates," said Leslie Appleton-Young, C.A.R. vp and chief economist. "Economic uncertainty and recent developments in financial markets have caused hesitation among buyers, the effects of which we may see in the coming months. We must see sustained job and income gains along with an increase in consumer confidence before we can expect to see consistent improvement in the housing market." Appleton-Young added.

Median prices increased in a handful of markets,1.3% to $279,700, Orange County, where the price moved up inlcuding the Los Angeles metro, where the price crept up 3.1% to $551,510, San Bernardino, where prices rose 4.3% to $135,150 and Sacramento, which gained 1.3% to $168,060. The Southern California region also was up, gaining 5.2% to $317,060.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.