Friday, July 17, 2009

DataQuick News: Bay Area Home Sales, Prices Rise

DQ News reports Bay Area home sales and median price rise

La Jolla, CA.----Home sales in the Bay Area jumped to their highest level in almost three years, the result of improved mortgage availability and a perception among potential buyers that prices have bottomed out. The median price paid for a home increased month-to-month for the third month in a row, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 8,644 new and resale houses and condos sold across the nine-county Bay Area in June. That was up 16.1 percent from 7,447 in May and up 20.4 percent from 7,178 in June 2008, according to San Diego-based MDA DataQuick.

Home sales have increased on a year-over-year basis the last ten months. June sales have varied from a low of 7,118 in 1993 to 15,735 in 2004 in DataQuick’s statistics, which go back to 1988. Last month was 16.1 percent below the 10,306 for an average June.

“Getting mortgage financing this last year has really been an egregious process, especially for borrowers in the upper half of the market. We’re just now seeing the beginnings of more normal mortgage lending patterns. There’s still a long way to go, but it looks like the worst of the grind is over,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area was $352,000 last month, up 3.1 percent from $341,500 in May and down 27.4 percent from $485,000 in June 2008. It was the highest since $375,000 last October.

The current median is 47.1 percent below the $665,000 peak reached in June 2007. It hit a low of $290,000 in March this year. About half the downturn appears to be price declines, the other half is the absence of of high-end home sales in the statistics, which pulls the median down.

Financing with home loans above the old “jumbo” limit of $417,000 edged up to the highest level in almost a year. Last month 28.8 percent of all Bay Area mortgages were jumbos, the highest since 31.9 percent in August last year and well above the bottom of 17.1 percent last January. Two years ago jumbos accounted for more than 60 percent of all home purchase loans.