July 18, 2011 (Jeff Alan)

Bay Area home sales and prices posted solid gains in June compared to May and were at their highest levels since June of last year according to data collected by real estate information provider DataQuick.

A total of 7,998 new and resale homes were sold in the nine county Bay Area, which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano and Sonoma Counties, in June 2011. That was an increase of 14.5 percent from May’s 6,988 sales, but still down 4.5 percent from 8,373 sales in June of 2010.

The Bay Area historically sees a sales increase of 4.9 percent between June and May, however, sales in May were the third lowest on record for the month of May since 1988 when DataQuick began tracking statistics.

Typically the Bay Area averages 10,129 sales in the month of June which puts last month’s sales 21.0 percent below the historic June average.

“It’s difficult to point to one specific thing that caused last month’s sales to jump more than usual from May. It wasn’t just in the Bay Area – we saw it across much of the state. June likely benefitted from a combination of factors, such as price reductions, low mortgage rates and perhaps a batch of short sale transactions from spring that took months to close. Bargain hunters, mainly investors and first-time buyers, remain very active,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president. “While overall consumer confidence remains low, folks in certain industries such as high-tech are feeling more confident. Let’s keep in mind, however, that last month was not a particularly strong June, historically speaking, and one month’s increase in sales from the prior month doesn’t constitute a trend.”

Sales of newly built homes were the second lowest for the month of June with only 399 sales recorded; only eclipsed by the 360 new homes sold in 1993.

The median price for new and resale homes and condos increased 1.5 percent to $377,750 in June compared to May, the highest median home price since November of last year. The median price was still down 7.9 percent from $410,000 in June of 2010, the ninth straight month that year-over-year home prices have dropped.

Distressed home sales made up about 45 percent of the Bay Area’s resale market last month, with foreclosure sales accounting for 26.2 percent of re-sales in June, while short sales made up about 18.3 percent of Bay Area’s sales last month.

Tags: Bay Area, DataQuick, home sales, home prices, spring selling season, median sales price, new homes, re-sale homes