Motivated Sellers Boost Bay Area Home Sales 45 Percent

October 22, 2008 No Comments »

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Bay area home sales surged 45 percent last months thanks to heavily discounted home prices and distressed sales, DataQuick reported today.

A total of 7,271 new and resale homes and condos sold in nine Bay Area counties in September, up 0.5 percent from August and 45 percent from the 5,014 sales seen a year earlier.

It was the largest year-over-year sales gain for any month since April 2002, when sales jumped 49 percent.

Of course it all needs to taken with a grain of salt, considering last September’s weak numbers and the number of foreclosure-driven sales.

In fact, nearly 42 percent of resales last month had been foreclosed upon at some point in the past year, up from 36.1 percent in August ad 6.9 percent a year ago.

And 62 percent of Bay Area sales were in less expensive inland counties, including Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano.

In Solano County, where sales more than doubled from a year ago, foreclosure sales accounted for 67.9 percent of resales.

However, sales on the coast, in places like San Francisco and San Mateo County, were actually down marginally year-over-year.

The good news, for those buying, is the median price paid last month was $400,000, down 10.5 percent from August and a record 36 percent from $625,000 a year ago.

The median now sits at its lowest point since March 2003, nearly 40 percent below the peak median of $665,000 seen in the summer of 2007.

That’s driving down monthly mortgage payments, which averaged $1,890 last month, down from $2,121 in August and $3,171 a year ago, meaning borrowers might be able to keep up with payments.

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