Thursday, December 18, 2008

DataQuick: Almost 50% of Home Sales are Foreclosure Resales in California Bay Area

by Bill McBride on 12/18/2008 02:09:00 PM

NOTE from CR: be careful with median prices. This doesn't mean prices have fallen to an eight year low - this means that a combination of price declines and a significant change in mix (to lower priced homes) has happened. The Case-Shiller repeat sales index is a better measure of actual price declines.

From DataQuick: Bay Area median home price sinks to 8-year low; sales up over '07 again

Bay Area home sales decelerated in November but beat the year-ago mark for the third consecutive month. The allure of discounted foreclosures continued to drive sales in affordable inland markets, which helped push the median sale price down to its lowest point since former President Bill Clinton was in the White House.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos combined in the nine-county Bay Area fell to $350,000 last month. That was down 6.7 percent from $375,000 in October and down a record 44.4 percent from $629,000 in November 2007, according to MDA DataQuick, a San Diego-based real estate information service.

The November median sale price - the point where half of the homes sold for more and half for less - stood at its lowest since it was $350,000 in September 2000. It was 47.4 percent below the peak median of $665,000 reached last year in June, July and August.
...
A total of 5,756 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the region last month. That was down 24.4 percent from 7,613 sales in October but up 12.3 percent from 5,127 sales in November 2007.

Last month's tally was still the second-lowest for a November since at least 1988, when DataQuick's statistics begin.
...
Last month 47.6 percent of all homes that resold in the Bay Area had been foreclosed on at some point in the prior 12 months, up from 44.0 percent in October and 10.1 percent a year ago.
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In November, use of FHA, government-insured mortgages allowing a down payment of as little as 3 percent rose to 20.6 percent of Bay Area home purchase loans. That's a record in DataQuick's statistics and up from less than 1.0 percent a year ago. At the same time, use of larger mortgages known as "jumbo loans," common in higher-cost coastal neighborhoods, continued to fall. Before the credit crunch hit in August 2007, 62 percent of Bay Area sales were financed with jumbos, then defined as over $417,000. Last month just 23.0 percent of purchase loans were over $417,000.
This fits with the earlier post today about interest rates. On loans up to $417K, 30 year fixed rates are below 5%, but on loans above $417K rates are still above 7%.