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Homes sales increasing, but at slower rate

February sales up 0.3%, below average of 2.5% since 1988

Sales of new and existing homes in the Bay Area increased last month but at a rate well below average.

Representatives of the research firm CoreLogic said the increase from January to February was 0.3%, below the average of 2.5% since 1988.

CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage attributed the result to higher home prices, credit challenges among buyers and a tight inventory of homes. Sales are still increasing though because mortgage rates are low and the region's population is growing, LePage said.

Last month, 4,853 homes were sold in the Bay Area, up from 4,839 in January. The number of homes sold in February 2015 was 4,833, according to CoreLogic.

The median sales price was $609,500 for a home last month, down 1.7% from $620,000 in January.

LePage attributed the decrease to a higher share of sales in less expensive markets, such as Contra Costa and Solano counties.

That price rose 5.1% from $580,000 in February 2015, CoreLogic data shows.

The median home sales price has risen year-over-year for 47 consecutive months but is 8.3% below the peak of $665,000 in June and July 2007.

Keith Burbank, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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