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Bay Area housing market weakens in April

May 16, 2011 | 11:00 am


The Bay Area’s housing market slipped in April, with sales for that month hitting a three-year low and the region’s median home price falling year-over-year for the seventh consecutive month.

The market has been sluggish ever since the expiration of tax credits last spring, and economic uncertainty has kept sales lackluster.

Sales fell 3.7% from the prior month and were down 3.1% from April 2010, according to real estate research firm DataQuick of San Diego. A total of 6,789 new and previously owned dwellings sold last month.

“April activity looks weak on the heels of March,” John Walsh, DataQuick president, said in a statement. “What’s clear now is that 2011 is off to a slow start, but it’s a little soon to write off the rest of the year.”

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos in the Bay Area last month was $360,000, the same as last month and a 2.7% drop from April 2010. The median -- which is the point at which half of the homes in the region sold for more and half for less -- has fallen for seven consecutives months on a year-over-year basis after a solid year of gains.

One optimistic sign: Sales of so-called distressed homes made up a slightly smaller percentage of the resale market. Foreclosures made up 28.7% of the resale market last month, down from 31.5% in March and 29.5% in April 2010. Short sales made up an estimated 18.6% of the market last month, up from 16.7% in March and 17.6% in April 2010.

-- Alejandro Lazo

Twitter: @AlejandroLazo

Photo: Rows of homes in San Francisco. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images


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