Home/Mortgages/Bay Area Home Sales Decline Twice the Average in July

August 18, 2011 (Jeff Alan)

Bay Area home sales and prices lost ground in July after posting their first solid gains of the year in June as sales declined more than twice their historical average and prices remained flat according to data collected by real estate information provider DataQuick.

A total of 6,887 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 July 2011. That was a decline of 13.9 percent from June’s 7,998 sales, but still up 1.7 percent from the 6,773 sales posted in July of 2010.

The Bay Area historically sees a sales decrease of 6.8 percent between June and July as the spring/summer selling season starts to wind down, however, sales this July were the third lowest on record for the month of July since 1988 when DataQuick began tracking statistics.

Home sales in the Bay Area were 26.8 percent below the historic July average. The lowest amount of homes sold in the Bay Area in July since 1988 was 6,666 in 1995, while the highest amount of homes sold was 14,258 in 2004.

“Last year’s tax credits were by and large gone by July, so last month’s year-over-year comparison is pretty much apples and apples. We’re still looking at a dysfunctional market. Distribution curves are lopsided, bottom-feeding is still prevalent and the lending market is just plain weird. We’re off bottom by all metrics, but far from anything resembling normal,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

The median price for new and resale homes and condos declined 1.0 percent to $374,000 in July compared to $377,750 in June. The median price was down 7.0 percent from $402,000 in July of 2010, the tenth straight month that year-over-year home prices have dropped.

By comparison, the lowest median price posted during the current real estate cycle was $290,000 in March 2009, while the peak median price was $665,000 in June/July 2007.

Distressed home sales made up 45.4 percent of the Bay Area’s resale market last month, with foreclosure re-sales accounting for 26.6 percent of re-sales in July, while short sales made up about 18.8 percent of Bay Area’s sales last month.

Foreclosure re-sales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009 while the historic rate of foreclosure re-sales is about nine percent.

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