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Thursday, March 13, 2008 posted by Tommi Crow

sf.jpg    Home sales and prices continued to drop in the Bay Area, with the median sale price hitting below $550,000.

A total of 3,989 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area in February, down 36.7 percent from 6,305 for February 2007, DataQuick Information Systems reported.

January and February are typically the two slowest months in DataQuick’s statistics, which go back to 1988.

“Sure there are price declines out there, especially in inland markets. But it’s not realistic to think many sellers are going to drop a $600,000 or $700,000 asking price down to $550,000 just so a buyer can finance with a conforming loan. We can only conclude that a lot of activity is just on hold, hence the spectacularly low sales counts,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

In Alameda County, sales dropped 44.5 percent to only 753 sales and the median home price dropped almost $100,000 to $486,500. Contra Costa reported a 35.1 drop in sales and a new median sales price of $450,000. San Mateo also dropped 35 percent in home sales and its median dropped to $646,500 from $720,000 in February 2007.

Solano County also had a 39.3 drop in sales and the median sales price dropped $95,000 to $350,000 from last year.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $548,000 last month, down 0.4 percent from $550,000 in January, and down 11.6 percent from $620,000 in February 2007