Bay Area housing sales have declined for the past six months. (Courtesy image)

Bay Area housing sales have declined for the past six months. (Courtesy image)

Bay Area home sales down 15 percent in November, continuing six-month decline

Bay Area home sales declined 15 percent in November compared to
the same month last year, marking the second-largest decline in more than two years and the slowest November in four years, according to a report issued Friday by housing research firm CoreLogic.

Sales in the nine Bay Area counties tracked by CoreLogic have
fallen on a year-over-year basis the past six consecutive months, the report says.

Sales fell by 8.3 percent in June, 0.3 percent in July, 9.7
percent in August, 18.8 percent in September and 6.5 percent in October.

CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage said in a statement, “November’s
slowdown affected all major price categories, including a nearly 10 percent annual drop in $1 million-plus sales, which have fallen year-over-year in two of the last three months.”

LePage said, “Higher mortgage rates worsened affordability
constraints this year and in recent months stock market volatility could have contributed to a high-end pullback. Market corrections can spook high-end buyers and leave some with inadequate funds to cover down-payment and closings costs.”

The report says the median price paid for all homes sold in the
Bay Area in November 2018 was $815,000, down 3.8 percent from $847,000 in October 2018 and up 3.8 percent from $785,000 in November 2017.

The $875,000 median price in June 2018 was the highest ever
recorded, according to CoreLogic.

On a year-over-year basis, the median sale price has risen for 80 consecutive months since April 2012, the report says.

But those gains had been in the double digits for 13 consecutive
months prior to September and the last time the annual gain in the median sale price was lower than this November’s 3.8 percent increase was in January 2017, when it was 1.3 percent, according to the report.

“Annual gains in the overall median sale price trended lower in
most Bay Area counties in November, while Napa and Sonoma counties recorded year-over-year declines of 6.8 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively,” LePage said.

But he said, “Those annual declines likely reflect, at least in
part, market-mix changes that occurred in November of last year following the October 2017 wildfires, which caused some deals to close in November 2017.”

LePage said annual declines in the median sale price can be a sign that home prices have flattened out, if not declined.

But he cautioned, “One month doesn’t make a trend and the annual
decreases could also reflect changes in the types of homes that are selling. The price picture is likely to become clearer over the next few months.”

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