Bay Area August Sales, Median Price Fall

San Francisco Bay area home sales in California bucked the seasonal norm and fell last month from July, though they remained higher than a year ago for the 12th consecutive month. The region's overall median sale price also declined, as a greater portion of sales occurred in more affordable areas, MDA DataQuick reports.

A total of 7,518 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the nine-county San Francisco Bay area last month. That was down 14.3% from 8,771 in July and up 4% from 7,232 in August 2008.

Last month's sales were 24% below the average number of sales – 9,886, for the month of August since 1988, when DataQuick's stats begin. August sales have ranged from a low of 6,688 in 1992 to a high of 13,940 in 2004.

A thinner inventory of distressed properties for sale helps explain the relatively sharp drop in sales between July and August, DataQuick finds. The number of foreclosed properties that resold in August fell 15.2% from July.

The 14.3% drop in sales between July and August was atypical, given the average change between those two months is a gain of 3.4%, the company says. However, sales also fell between July and August in the past two years and in seven other years dating back to 1988. Two of those years saw July-August dips greater than this year's: a drop of 15.2% in 1992 and 14.8% in 1998.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos in August fell to $360,000, down 8.9% from $395,000 in July and down 19.5% from $447,000 in August 2008.



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