Bay Area Home Sales and Prices Up

November 14, 2012

La Jolla, CA.--The number of homes sold in the Bay Area increased on a year-over-year basis for the sixteenth month in a row in October while the median price paid rose for the sixth month, the result of a gradual rebalancing of the real estate market. Mortgage availability remains an issue, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 7,795 new and resale homes were sold in the nine-county Bay Area last month. That was up 13.8 percent from 6,850 in September, and up 21.0 percent from 6,444 for October 2011, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

Sales for the month of October have varied from 5,486 in 2007 to 13,392 in 2003, while the average for all months of October since 1988, when DataQuick’s statistics start, is 8,587.

Last month sales continued to fall below year-ago levels in the lower price categories and rise sharply in the middle and high end of the market. October transactions below $300,000 fell 15.2 percent compared with a year earlier, while sales in the $400,000 to $800,000 range rose 25.7 percent, and deals above $800,000 jumped 47.1 percent from last October.

The median price paid for a home in the Bay Area was $416,000 last month. That was down 3.0 percent from $429,000 in September and up 18.9 percent from $350,000 in October a year ago. The year-over-year percentage increase was the highest since May 2010, when the $410,000 median rose 20.1 percent.

The median’s low point of the current real estate cycle was $290,000 in March 2009. The peak was $665,000 in June/July 2007. Around half of the median’s peak-to-trough drop, as well as half the median’s current year-over-year increase, was the result of a shift in the sales mix.

“We’re still watching the market regain the ground it lost after 2007. It’s unclear exactly much of today’s apparent price increase reflects actual growth, and how much reflects a change in market characteristics. The two factors obviously play into each other. We’re definitely seeing less distress and foreclosure activity, and more mid- to up-market sales. Supply is limited, and getting through the mortgage process is still rough,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

Last month distressed property sales – the combination of foreclosure resales and “short sales” – made up about 33 percent of the resale market. That was down from about 38 percent in September and down from about 63 percent in October 2011.

Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 12.0 percent of resales in October, down from a revised 14.1 percent in September, and down from 25.3 percent a year ago. Last month was the lowest since foreclosure resales were 10.1 percent in November 2007. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 17 years is about 10 percent.

Short sales – transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property – made up an estimated 21.4 percent of Bay Area resales last month. That was down from an estimated 23.5 percent in September and down from 24.9 percent a year earlier.

Jumbo loans, mortgages above the old conforming limit of $417,000, accounted for 38.9 percent of last month’s purchase lending – the highest since November 2007, when it was 43.4 percent. Last month’s figure was up from a revised 34.7 percent in September, and up from 27.9 percent a year ago. Jumbo usage dropped to 17.1 percent in January 2009. Before the credit crunch struck in August 2007, jumbos accounted for nearly 60 percent of the Bay Area purchase loan market.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), an important indicator of mortgage availability, accounted for 11.8 percent of the Bay Area’s home purchase loans. That was up from a revised 11.5 percent in September, and down from 12.9 percent in October last year. Since 2000, ARMs have accounted for 49.1 percent of all purchase loans. ARMs hit a low of 3.0 percent of loans in January 2009.

Government-insured FHA home purchase loans, a popular choice among first-time buyers, accounted for 15.5 percent of all Bay Area home purchase mortgages in October, up from 15.4 percent in September and down from 21.2 percent a year earlier. Over the last few months the FHA level has been the lowest since summer 2008.

The most active lenders to Bay Area home buyers last month were Wells Fargo with 14.6 percent of the market, RPM Mortgage with 3.1 percent and Princeton Capital with 2.7 percent.

Last month absentee buyers – mostly investors – purchased 22.8 percent of all Bay Area homes, down from 22.9 percent in September, and up from 20.2 percent a year ago. Absentee buyers paid a median $302,000 in October, up 23.3 percent from a year ago.

Buyers who appear to have paid all cash – meaning no corresponding purchase loan was found in the public record – accounted for 29.1 percent of sales in October. That was up from 28.3 percent in September, and up from 28.5 percent a year ago. The monthly average going back to 1988 is 12.4 percent. Cash buyers paid a median $300,000 in October, up 20.0 percent from a year earlier.

San Diego-based 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 were estimated in Alameda and San Mateo counties.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,472. That was down from $1,535 in September, and up from $1,348 a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, last month’s payment was 47.9 percent below the typical payment in spring 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 61.5 percent below the current cycle's peak in July 2007.

Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity remains high by historical standards but well below peak levels reached over the last three years. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes are stable, DataQuick reported.

SalesVolume MedianPrice
All homes Oct-11 Oct-12  % Chng   Oct-11 Oct-12  % Chng  
Alameda                 1,308      1,618     23.7%     $340,000     $384,000      12.9%
Contra Costa            1,329      1,454      9.4%     $250,750     $302,500      20.6%
Marin                     230        335     45.7%     $602,909     $660,000       9.5%
Napa                      102        152     49.0%     $310,000     $365,000      17.7%
Santa Clara             1,417      1,718     21.2%     $450,000     $535,000      18.9%
San Francisco             448        572     27.7%     $635,000     $794,500      25.1%
San Mateo                 566        717     26.7%     $525,000     $626,500      19.3%
Solano                    554        598      7.9%     $188,000     $216,000      14.9%
Sonoma                    490        631     28.8%     $283,500     $350,000      23.5%
Bay Area                6,444      7,795     21.0%     $350,000     $416,000      18.9%

Source: DataQuick,

Media calls: Andrew LePage (916) 456-7157

Copyright 2012 DataQuick. All rights reserved.
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