Bay Area Prices Post First Yearly Rise in 2 Years: DataQuick
Year-over-year sales volume increased 4.2% in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and the region experienced its first year-over-year gain in median sales price in nearly two years in October, according to MDA DataQuick. There were 7,933 new and resale homes and condos sold in October, up from 7,879 sold in September and up 4.2% from 7,613 in October 2008. The median price paid rose to $390,000, up 6.8% from $365,000 in September and up 4% from $375,000 in October 2008. The last time this region experienced a year-over-year price increase was in November 2007, when it gained 1.5% over November 2006. The median price is at its highest point since it was $395,000 in July, but is 41.4% below the $665,000 peak reached in June and July of 2007. MDA DataQuick said the improvements come as the distressed property inventory is drying up and properties sold for $500,000 or more took a greater share of sales activity. “The regional price statistics mainly reflect the fading of the foreclosures and the uptick in high-end activity in recent months,” said MDA DataQuick president John Walsh. “Down at the neighborhood level, different things are happening depending on location, but the big picture is that prices in many areas appear to be bouncing along bottom. Whether that bottom is permanent is the subject of endless debate right now.” Sales over $500,000 accounted for 36% of all October sales, up from 34.9% last year and this year’s low of 22.7% reached in January. Sales in the region’s higher-cost counties — Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Mateo — accounted for 42.2% of October sales, up from 35.3% a year ago. Foreclosure resales accounted for 31.9% of all sales activity, down from 32.3% in September and 44% a year ago. It’s the lowest level of foreclosure sales since they were at 29.9% in June 2008. Mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) accounted for 25.9% of all purchases in October, up from 24.9% in September, 19% last year and less than 1% two years ago. Write to Austin Kilgore.