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Bay Area home sales pick up as prices drop

February 17, 2011 |  9:51 am

BayAreaSales

Sales of homes in the Bay Area picked up in January as home prices dropped and investors increased their share of buying. But new-home sales dropped to their lowest level in more than two decades.

Sales rose 2.3% from January 2010 to total 4,966 in the nine-county Bay Area, according to San Diego-based DataQuick Information Systems. That was down 30.8% from December, though a plunge from December to January is normal.

A total of 253 newly built homes sold in the Bay Area last month, the least for any month in DataQuick’s statistics, which began in 1988. The previous low was 264 in January 1993.

The median home price for the region was $338,000 in January, down 3.4% from January 2010 and 9.9% from December. Sales of foreclosures rose in January to make up 34.7% of the resale market, the highest level since February 2010.

RELATED:

Mortgage rates ease a bit, Freddie Mac says

SoCal housing market kicks off 2011 with a slump

-- Alejandro Lazo

Photo: A sale sign is posted outside a house in East Palo Alto, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

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