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Home sales up in Bay Area while median price declines

September 16, 2011 | 10:15 am

Sales of Bay Area homes increased in August from the same month a year earlier but remained below average for the month. Prices continued to drop. The median home price fell in August from the same month a year earlier for the 11th consecutive month.

6a00d8341c630a53ef015390c018ac970b-320wi Sales of so-called distressed homes –- where the borrower is in default or the home is in foreclosure –- made up half of the market for previously owned homes, according to San Diego real estate firm DataQuick.

Sales were up 9.1% from the prior month and 12.2% from the same month a year prior. A total of 7,513 new and previously owned properties sold. The median, which is the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less, declined 1.1% from the prior month and was down 3.9% from a year prior to hit $370,000.

“The sliver of positive news here is that, no matter how you look at it, last month’s sales beat the year-ago numbers, which were pretty lousy,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president. “Lower prices and mortgage rates lured some homebuyers off the sidelines last month, but too many others lacked the confidence to step into the game."

Sales of foreclosed homes made up 26.4% of the resale market while short sales -– where the bank allows a home to be sold for less than the debt on the property -– made up about 18.6% of the market.


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-- Alejandro Lazo

Photo: San Francisco. Credit: Getty Images