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Thursday, June 18, 2009

DataQuick: California Bay Area Home Sales Increase

by Calculated Risk on 6/18/2009 07:49:00 PM

From DataQuick: Uptick in Bay Area home sales and median price

The median price paid for a Bay Area home jumped in May as more expensive homes started to sell again. The overall number of homes sold increased for the ninth month in a row, a real estate information service reported.

The median price [increase] ... was due to a small but noticeable increase in sales of homes financed with home loans for more than $417,000, commonly called “jumbo” mortgages. They accounted for 25.5 percent of the Bay Area’s home sales last month, the highest since 25.8 percent last October. Two years ago it was more than 60 percent. The presence of those high-end sales in the statistics pulled the May median up.

Sales of $800,000-plus existing single-family houses rose to 13.2 percent of all house resales last month, up from 9.8 percent in April and the highest since they were 14.8 percent of sales last October. Sales of sub-$400,000 existing houses dropped to 57.5 percent of May sales, down from 62.2 percent in April and the lowest since 56.5 percent in November.

[CR: Be careful with the median price, it is distorted by the change in mix.]

... A total of 7,447 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area last month. That was up 4.3 percent from 7,139 in April and up 19.8 percent from 6,216 in May 2008.

The May 2008 sales were the lowest in DataQuick’s statistics, which go back to 1988. May sales have averaged 9,881 and peaked in May 2004 at 13,567 sales.
Last month 42.1 percent of all homes resold in the Bay Area had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months, down from 46.4 percent in April and the lowest since the figure was 41.6 percent last September. A year ago the percentage was 27.7 percent, while the peak was 52.0 percent this February. By county, foreclosure resales ranged last month from 7.7 percent of all resales in San Francisco to 65.1 percent in Solano.

... Foreclosure activity is off its recent peak but remains high by historical standards ...