Research firm DataQuick says the median price in March was $156,500 - down 9.5% from a year ago.
DataQuick's Andrew LePage says the price-drop prompted a bump in sales…by 4%.
"About 70% of the properties that resold in March were distressed. They were either a foreclosure resale or a short sale. And in March we had a record 35% of the homes sold to absentee buyers which is mainly investors."
LePage says those investors will likely turn the homes into rentals.
He says slow job growth and tight credit conditions are keeping the median from appreciating over the previous year's prices.
Meanwhile, in Placer County, where the median home price dropped by 15% to 250,000, home sales were up 10%.