Bay Area Home Sales Climb

Sales up 15-percent from May

 Home sales in California got a minor boost in June, but activity was still slower than it was a year earlier, a tracking firm reported Thursday.
A total of 38,975 homes were sold in the state last month, up 9.7 percent from 35,536 in May, San Diego-based DataQuick said.

Here in the Bay Area people purchased 7,998 new and resale houses and condos in June, according to DataQUick. That's up about 15-percent from May but down about five-percent from June of last year. The median price stayed steady at $377,750. That is slightly higher than May and about 10 percent down from a year ago.
"June likely benefited from a combination of factors, such as price reductions, low mortgage rates and perhaps a batch of short sale transactions from spring that took months to close," DataQuick president John Walsh said.
But Walsh cautioned that "last month was not a particularly strong June, historically speaking, and one month's increase in sales from the prior month doesn't constitute a trend."       

Indeed, last month's sales were 11.3 percent lower than the 43,964 posted in June 2010.
DataQuick also said the median price for a home in the region was down 6.3 percent to $253,000 from $270,000 in June 2010, a ninth consecutive year-over-year decline after what had been 11 months of increases, although the median was up 1.6 percent from
 $249,000 in May.
More than half of the existing homes sold came from distressed property sales, maintaining the downward pressure on prices.

Foreclosures accounted for 35 percent of last month's sales, down slightly from 35.3 percent in May but up from 34.1 percent a year earlier.
Short-sale transactions, in which lenders allow distressed homes to be sold for less than what is owed, accounted for 17.6 percent of existing home sales. That was identical to May's portion but down from 20 percent a year earlier.
In a nine-county region of Northern California, sales dipped 4.5 percent to 7,998 in June from a year earlier. In the six-county region of Southern California, sales dropped 14 percent to 20,532 from May 2010.
The median home price in Northern California dropped 7.9 percent to $377,750 last month from $410,000 in June 2010. In Southern California, the median price declined 5 percent to $285,000, down from $300,000 in the year-ago period.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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