Bay Area home sales lowest in 20 years

Home sales in a nine-county region around San Francisco Bay plunged last month to the lowest level for December in at least 20 years, with several counties posting steep median price declines, a real estate research firm said Thursday.

A total of 5,065 homes were sold in the area last month, down 39.5 percent compared to December 2006 and off 1.2 percent from November, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Sales in the region that includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano and Sonoma counties have dropped year-over-year for the past 35 months.

Prior to last month, the slowest December on record was 1990, when 5,458 homes were sold. DataQuick has been tracking sales since 1988.

Meanwhile, the median price of a home in the region slipped to $587,500, a 4.9 percent drop from December 2006 and a 6.6 percent decline from November's median, DataQuick said.

Sonoma County posted the sharpest decline, plummeting 21.9 percent to $410,000 from December 2006.

The median price in Solano County fell 15.8 percent to $370,000, while Contra Costa County saw a drop of 11.3 percent to $505,000.

The median price for a home in San Francisco County declined 1.9 percent to $731,000.

Prices in other counties dipped by single-digit percentages or stayed flat.

The median price has been falling in part because of a sharp drop in the number of high-end homes sold as lenders cut back on so-called jumbo mortgages that exceed $417,000.

Earlier this week, DataQuick said the average median price in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties hit $425,000 last month, the lowest level since February 2005, when the figure was $420,000.

Home sales throughout those six counties plunged 45.3 percent to 13,240 from a year ago.

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Pharmacist Hank Chen is known for providing personalized service at Charlie’s Pharmacy in the Fillmore.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Left: A Walgreens at 300 Gough St. is among San Francisco stores closing.
Walgreens closures open the door for San Francisco’s neighborhood pharmacies

‘I think you’ll see more independents start to pop up’

San Franciscans are likely to have the opportunity to vote in four different elections in 2022. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Electionpalooza: SF school board recall will kick off a flurry of local races

‘It’s going to be a lot of elections and a lot of decisions for voters to make’

Four young politicos were elected to city government on the Peninsula in 2020. From left: Redwood City Councilmember Michael Smith; South San Francisco Councilmember James Coleman; Redwood City Councilmember Lissette Espinoza-Garnica; and East Palo Alto Councilmember Antonio Lopez.<ins> (Examiner illustration/Courtesy photos)</ins>
Progressive politicians rise to power on the Peninsula. Will redistricting reverse the trend?

‘There’s this wave of young people really trying to shake things up’

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Most Read