NorCal Home Prices Plunge By Nearly Half

Thursday, Dec 18, 2008  |  Updated 12:55 PM PDT
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Housing Prices Plunge

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A real estate tracking firm says the median home price in Northern California fell a record 44 percent in November to an eight-year low.

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The rise of foreclosures has lead to a big drop in housing prices.

Housing Prices Plunge

The median home price in the San Francisco Bay area plummeted a record 44 percent in November to the lowest level since September 2000, as foreclosures propped up sales but eroded prices.
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The median home price in California dived 38 percent in November from a year ago, as foreclosures propped up sales but eroded prices, a real estate tracking firm said Thursday.

The median home price dropped to $258,000 last month from $414,000 in November 2007, San Diego-based MDA DataQuick said.

A total of 32,163 homes and condos were sold statewide, up 26 percent from the year-ago period.

"Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions," DataQuick said. "Foreclosure activity is at or near record levels, financing with adjustable-rate mortgages is near the all-time low."

Meanwhile, rates on 30-year fixed mortgages dropped this week to the lowest levels in at least 37 years. The average rate dropped to 5.19 percent, down from the year's previous low of 5.47 percent set last week.

"A glimmer of hope for sellers in those areas is the government's interest in driving down mortgage rates and loosening credit," DataQuick president John Walsh said. "Eventually it could help ignite more move-up buying."

The typical mortgage payment that homebuyers committed to pay in November was $1,198, down from $1,951 a year ago.

DataQuick previously said the median home price in the nine-county San Francisco Bay area plummeted a record 44 percent in November to the lowest level since September 2000.

The median price for homes and condos there dropped to $350,000 last month from $629,000 in November 2007.

The peak median price -- $665,000 -- was reached last summer.

A total of 5,756 homes and condos were sold in the region last month, up 12 percent from the year-ago period.

"Considering the times we're in, November turned out to be a decent month from a sales volume perspective," Walsh said.

Foreclosures accounted for about 47 percent of all sales of existing homes last month in Northern California, up from 10 percent in November 2007.

Solano County led the way, with 63.6 percent of sales last month involving foreclosed properties.

Earlier this week, DataQuick said the median home price in a six-county region of Southern California plunged 35 percent in November from a year ago, dropping to the lowest mark since April 2003.

The median price for homes and condos tumbled to $285,000 last month from $435,000 in November 2007.

The drop occurred as 55 percent of those who bought preowned homes and condos seized on bargain-priced foreclosed properties.

There were 16,720 homes sold last month in the region, up 27 percent from the year-ago period.
 

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