Bay Area home sales continue climb, median still below $300K

April 16, 2009

La Jolla, CA.----The number of homes sold in the Bay Area rose for the seventh month in a row in March, the result of continued bargain hunting in the East Bay and other foreclosure-discounted communities. The past year's steep drop in the median price slowed significantly, indicating that the market might be near its price bottom, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 6,325 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the nine-county Bay Area last month. That was up 25.7 percent from 5,032 in February and up 29.1 percent from 4,898 in March 2008, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.

Last year's March was the slowest in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. Last month was the third-slowest March of all time, ahead of last year and 6,210 sales in March 1995. March sales have averaged 9,025 and peaked in March 2004 at 12,645 sales.

"More than any other region, the Bay Area is waiting for so-called jumbo loans to come back on line. Even with prices off their peaks, most home purchases in the upper half of the market still require a mortgage for more than $417,000, which are far more difficult to come by. We think there’s a good chance those larger loans will become more available during the second or third quarter,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.

"For now, the extent to which prices have fallen in the upscale markets is more difficult to gauge," he added, "because many of those areas are essentially in hibernation, with scant sales."

Mortgages for more than $417,000 were used to finance 19.0 percent of the Bay Area's home sales last month, compared with more than 60 percent before the credit crunch hit in late summer 2007.

The use of government-insured FHA loans - a common choice among first-time buyers - represented a record 25.4 percent of all Bay Area purchase loans in March, up from 1.5 percent a year ago.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos combined fell to $290,000 last month. That was down 1.7 percent from $295,000 in February and down 45.9 percent from $536,000 a year ago. It was 56.4 percent below the peak median of $665,000 reached in June and July of 2007.

The drop in median price overstates the decline in the value of the typical Bay Area home, reflecting more the sluggishness of high-end sales, which are now under-represented in the statistics.

Last month 51.2 percent of all Bay Area resale homes had been foreclosed on at some point in the prior 12 months, down from 52.0 percent in February and up from 23.2 percent a year ago. By county it ranged from 11.5 percent in San Francisco to 70.0 in Solano.

San Diego-based MDA DataQuick is a division of MDA Lending Solutions, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates. MDA DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts. Because of late data availability, sales counts were estimated in Alameda and San Mateo counties.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed themselves to paying was $1,245 last month, down from $1,286 the previous month, and down from $2,553 a year ago. Last month’s typical mortgage payment, which assumes 20 percent down and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, was the lowest since February 1997 when it was $1,236. Adjusted for inflation, current payments are at an all-time low. They are 51.9 percent below typical payments in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. They are 64.5 percent below the current cycle's peak in July 2007.

Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity is nearing its 2008 peak, while financing with adjustable-rate mortgages is at an all-time low, as is financing with multiple mortgages. Down payment sizes and flipping rates are stable, and non-owner occupied buying activity is above-average in some markets, MDA DataQuick reported.


Sales Volume Median Price
All homes Mar-08 Mar-09 %Chng Mar-08 Mar-09 %Chng
Alameda               971     1,216      25.2%   $487,500   $280,000     -42.6%
Contra Costa          973     1,639      68.4%   $420,500   $220,000     -47.7%
Marin                 148       161      8.8%   $788,500   $585,000     -25.8%
Napa                   72       124      72.2%   $469,000   $339,000     -27.7%
Santa Clara         1,105     1,288      16.6%   $620,000   $390,000     -37.1%
San Francisco         508       332     -34.6%   $755,000   $608,000     -19.5%
San Mateo             438       380     -13.2%   $723,000   $506,000     -30.0%
Solano                356       722     102.8%   $330,000   $180,000     -45.5%
Sonoma                327       463      41.6%   $409,500   $304,100     -25.7%
Bay Area            4,898     6,325      29.1%   $536,000   $290,000     -45.9%

Source: MDA DataQuick Information Systems,

Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157 or John Karevoll (909) 867-9534

Copyright 2009 DataQuick Information Systems. All rights reserved.
California February Home Sales

February 18, 2015

Bay Area January Home Sales Slowest in Seven Years; Single-Digit Annual Price Gain

February 18, 2015

Southern California Home Sales Decline; Median Sale Price Still Up Year Over Year

February 17, 2015

California December Home Sales

January 15, 2015

Bay Area Home Sales and Prices Rise in December 2014

January 15, 2015

Southern California Home Sales and Median Sale Price Rise

January 14, 2015

California November Home Sales

December 16, 2014

Bay Area Home Sales Slowest in Six Years; Single-Digit Price Increase

December 16, 2014

Southern California November Home Sales Fall Sharply; Median Sale Price Holds Steady Again

December 15, 2014

California October Home Sales

November 13, 2014

San Francisco Bay Area Home Sales Edge Higher; Price Growth Ratchets Down Again

November 13, 2014

Southern California Home Sales Dip To Three-Year Low; Smaller Year-Over-Year Gain for Median Sale Price

November 12, 2014

Las Vegas Region September Home Sales

October 30, 2014

Golden State Foreclosure Starts Continue to Decline

October 17, 2014

California September Home Sales

October 14, 2014

Strongest September for Bay Area Home Sales in Five Years; Prices Flat

October 14, 2014

Southland Home Sales Edge Higher; Price Growth Slows

October 13, 2014

Portland Region August Home Sales

October 2, 2014

Seattle Region August Home Sales

October 1, 2014

Miami Region August Home Sales

September 30, 2014

Las Vegas Region August Home Sales

September 29, 2014

California August Home Sales

September 11, 2014

Bay Area Home Sales Slow in August; Prices Increases Ease Back

September 11, 2014

Southland Home Sales Sputter; Median Sale Price Hits 80-Month High

September 11, 2014

Las Vegas Region July Home Sales

August 27, 2014

California July Home Sales

August 14, 2014

Sluggish Bay Area Home Sales in July; Prices Up – at a Slower Pace

August 14, 2014

Southland Home Sales Fall Yr/Yr Again; Prices Rise at Slower Pace

August 13, 2014

Las Vegas Region June Home Sales

August 8, 2014

Million-Dollar Home Sales Up Again in the Golden State

July 31, 2014

California Foreclosure Starts Lowest Since 2005

July 17, 2014

California June Home Sales

July 16, 2014

Bay Area Home Sales Up Slightly; Price Increases Slow

July 16, 2014

Southland Home Sales Down from Last Year Again; Price Gains Throttle Back

July 15, 2014

Seattle Region May Home Sales

July 1, 2014

Miami Region May Home Sales

June 30, 2014

Las Vegas Region May Home Sales

June 25, 2014

California May Home Sales

June 12, 2014

Bay Area Home Sales Constrained by Supply; Prices Continue to Rise

June 12, 2014

Southland Home Sales Slow; Median Price Rises Again but at Slower Pace

June 11, 2014

Portland Region April Home Sales

June 5, 2014

Phoenix Region February Home Sales

June 4, 2014

Las Vegas Region April Home Sales

May 28, 2014

California April Home Sales

May 14, 2014

Bay Area Home Prices Continue to Rise; Sales Up from March, Flat Yr/Yr

May 14, 2014

Faster Pace for Southland Home Sales; Median Sale Price Edges Higher

May 13, 2014

Seattle Region March Home Sales

May 9, 2014

Miami Region March Home Sales

May 7, 2014

Las Vegas Region March Home Sales

April 29, 2014

California Foreclosure Starts Hover Near 8-Year Low

April 22, 2014

California March Home Sales

April 16, 2014

Bay Area Median Sale Price Highest Since 2007; Slowest March Sales in 6 Years

April 16, 2014

Southland Home Sales Stuck at 6-year Low; Median Price Rises to 6-Year High

April 15, 2014

Phoenix Region February Home Sales

April 1, 2014

Las Vegas Region February Home Sales

March 27, 2014

California February Home Sales

March 13, 2014

Bay Area home sales slowest since 2008

March 13, 2014

Southern California February Home Sales Lowest Since 2008

March 12, 2014

Portland Region January Home Sales

March 6, 2013

Seattle Region January Home Sales

March 4, 2014

Miami Region January Home Sales

January 27, 2014

Las Vegas Region January Home Sales

February 25, 2014

California January Home Sales

February 13, 2014

Bay Area Home Sales Slowest for a January Since 2008

February 13, 2014

Southland Home Sales Drop in January; Price Picture Mixed

February 12, 2014

Las Vegas Region December Home Sales

February 7, 2014

Million-Dollar Home Sales Jump in the Golden State

January 30, 2014

California Foreclosure Starts Dip to Eight-Year Low

January 21, 2014

California December Home Sales

January 15, 2014

Bay Area Home Sales Drop to Six-Year Low; Prices Still Up Sharply Yr/Yr

January 15, 2014

Southland December Home Sales at Six-Year Low; Median Price Jumps

January 14, 2014

Portland Region November Home Sales

January 9, 2014

Seattle Region November Home Sales

January 2, 2014