Pleasanton Weekly

Real Estate - February 25, 2011

New home sales in Bay Area drop to lowest level in 20 years

Median price for all sales also down from year ago, agency says

by Jeb Bing

Bay Area home sales have dropped since December, but sales are still higher in early 2011 than they were during the same period in 2010, a real estate information service said.

It's normal for sales to be slow this time of year, meaning January and February are not necessarily predictive of upcoming trends, according to a report by real estate monitoring service DataQuick.

Overall home sales rose slightly in early 2011 compared with the same time last year, with 4,966 sold in the Bay Area, DataQuick said.

Within the Bay Area, Napa County had the highest increase, rising 35.6% from last year. Solano County saw the biggest decrease with a drop of 3% from last year, according to DataQuick.

New-home sales dropped to their lowest in more than 20 years with 253 sales, DataQuick officials said.

"Builders just can't build homes that can compete in price with the bargains out there, especially foreclosure resales," DataQuick president John Walsh said in a statement.

The median price for new and resale houses and condos in the Bay Area dropped to $338,000 in January 2011, compared to $350,000 in January 2010, DataQuick reported.

Sales of higher-cost homes appear to still be suffering from the credit crisis, which made adjustable-rate mortgages and "jumbo" loans more difficult to obtain, the report said.

Jumbo loans, which accounted for nearly 60% of the Bay Area purchase loan market before the credit crunch more than three years ago, accounted for only 27.1% of January's purchasing lending, the report said.

Government-insured Federal Housing Administration loans made up 25% of all home purchase mortgages in January.

Monthly mortgage payments are down from last month and last year, according to DataQuick.

The typical mortgage for January was $1,412, compared to $1,558 in December and $1,525 in January 2010.

Foreclosure activity remains high but is below peak levels reached over the last two years, the report said.


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields