January Bay Area home sales down from one year
By Adam Martin, Bay City News
February 17, 2006
Homes prices are up, but sales of Bay Area homes in January fell
to the lowest level in five years, according to DataQuick, a real
estate information service.
In one year, the median home price in the Bay Area rose 13.7
percent, from $534,000 in January 2005 to $607,000 last month.
That increase is the smallest in the last five years, according
to DataQuick. Prices were down 0.3 percent from December's $609,000.
The region saw a 20 percent reduction in sales overall from last
year, according to DataQuick. In January 2005 some 7,509 homes
sold region-wide, while only 6,004 sold last month.
While DataQuick reports that a decline in sales from December
to January is normal, numbers from this January followed a 10
month decline. It was the lowest sales count since January 2001,
according to DataQuick, when 5,977 homes were sold.
Around the region, Santa Clara County saw the most home sales
this year and last, with 1,862 in January 2005 and 1,486 in January
2006. It was followed by Alameda County, with 1,503 in January
2005 and 1,259 in January 2006. Contra Costa was third, with 1,394
in January 2005 and 1,259 in January 2006, according to DataQuick.
Napa County saw the biggest percentage drop in sales, down 37.2
percent from January 2005 and January 2006. Solano County's sales
were reduced by 33.2 percent, while Marin County saw a 32 percent
decline, according to DataQuick.
"We won't know for another couple of months if this is a
lull in the market or part of a longer-term downturn,'' DataQuick
president Marshall Prentice said in a statement. "It's always
difficult to project from trends we see in January and February.
The March numbers will tell us much more about what's going on.''
Bay Area home buyers signed up for average monthly mortgage payments
of $2,798 in January, down from $2,867 in December and up from
$2,344 in January 2005, according to DataQuick, which reports
that indicators of market distress are still largely absent.
DataQuick is a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler
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