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

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Police release an image a cracked windshield on a Prius that Cesar Vargas allegedly tried to carjack. Vargas, who was shot by police a short time later, can be seen in videos jumping on the windshield and pushing a Muni passenger who disembarked from a bus. (Courtesy SFPD
SFPD releases videos of deadly police shooting

Cesar Vargas killed after reports of carjacking with knife

New legislation would make sure supportive housing tenants don’t pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent.. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner))
Supportive housing tenants could get more help paying the rent

Supportive housing tenants struggling to pay rent could soon see their payments… Continue reading

Organizers of the San Francisco International Arts Festival had planned to use parts of Fort Mason including the Parade Ground, Eucalyptus Grove and Black Point Battery to host performances by about a dozen Bay Area arts groups. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Arts festival sues city over permit denial

Organizer says outdoor performances should be treated like demonstrations, religious gatherings

An oversight body for San Francisco’s mental health programs may be restructured after questions were raised about its management and lack of effectiveness. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Behavioral health oversight body looks for new start — and staff — after mismanagement

Members of an oversight body for San Francisco’s behavioral health programs said… Continue reading

The City requires the recycling or reuse of debris material removed from a construction project site. <ins>(Emma Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
<ins></ins>
Permits proposed for haulers of construction debris to achieve zero-waste

San Francisco plans to tighten regulations on the disposal of construction and… Continue reading

Most Read