Bay area home sales rise 14.5% in June
Home sales in the San Francisco-Bay area rose 14.5% between May and June, but still remain 4.5% below year-ago levels, real estate data firm DataQuick said Thursday. La Jolla, Calif.-based DataQuick said the median sales price also rose sharply between May and June, hitting $377,750, up 1.5% from May but under the $410,000 median established last year. The median price point has been unable to obtain year-ago levels with more home sales occurring in the sub-$300,000 price range, DataQuick said. In all, the San Francisco Bay area recorded 7,998 new and resale home and condo sales last month, compared to 6,988 sales a month earlier and 8,373 in June 2010. Comparing this June to last June is not an apples-to-apples comparison, considering June 2010 sales were bolstered by state and federal efforts to stimulate housing markets with tax credits, DataQuick said. "It’s difficult to point to one specific thing that caused last month’s sales to jump more than usual from May," said John Walsh, DataQuick president. "It wasn’t just in the Bay Area – we saw it across much of the state. June likely benefited from a combination of factors, such as price reductions, low mortgage rates and perhaps a batch of short sale transactions from spring that took months to close. Bargain hunters, mainly investors and first-time buyers, remain very active." The Bay area recorded the sale of 399 newly constructed homes and condos in June, down 43.8% from a year ago. Distressed sales continue to have a place in the market, with foreclosure resales accounting for 26.2% of June resales, compared to 25.6% a year ago. Short sales, or transactions where the property sold for less than what was owed, represented 18.3% of Bay Area sales. Write to Kerri Panchuk.