The Bay Area Had A Total of 8,579 New And Resale Homes In August
If the multi-offer scenarios and crowded open houses did not offer enough clues, then recent numbers showed that the Bay Area posted its strongest home sales for the month of August in six years. The demand can be seen as a result of low interest rates, an improving economy (at least here in the Bay Area) and increasing demand in mid range homes.
The median price paid for a home dropped a few points from June and July, but still maintained a pace well ahead of last year for the fifth consecutive month.
The Bay Area had a total of 8,579 new and resale homes sold in the nine-county Bay Area last month. That number rose 1.4 percent from 8,461 in July, and up 14.2 percent from 7,513 for August 2011.
Seeing a sales rise during the mid-summer (July-to-August) month sales increase remains normal for the Bay Area. According to DataQuick, August sales have ranged from 6,688 in 1992 to 13,940 in 2004, while 9,638 marked the average for all months of August since 1988.
The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Bay Area last month came in at $410,000. That number slid 2.6 percent from $421,000 in July, and up 10.8 percent from $370,000 in August 2011. As a reference point, March 2009 marked the median’s low point of the current real estate cycle at $290,000. The peak marked of $665,000 hit in June/July 2007.
Short Sales And Foreclosures Still Mark A High Percentage Of Sales
On the distressed property front, August saw a combination of foreclosure resales and short sales accounted about 33.8 percent of the Bay Area’s resale market. That recent ticked down from 34.0 percent in July and down from 43.8 percent a year ago.
Foreclosure resales – homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months – accounted for 14.9 percent of resales in August, down from a revised 15.1 percent in July, and down from 25.7 percent a year ago. Last month’s percentage marked the lowest since 14.0 percent in December 2007. Foreclosure resales peaked at 52.0 percent in February 2009. The Bay Area’s monthly average for foreclosure resales over the past 17 years sits in the 10 percent range.
Short sales made up an estimated 18.9 percent of Bay Area resales last month. That percentage remained essentially the same as in July and up from 18.1 percent a year earlier.
On the investor front absentee buyers (mostly investors) purchased 23.0 percent of all Bay Area homes sold last month, up from a revised 22.6 percent in July, and up from 21.2 percent a year ago. Absentee buyers paid a median $264,500 in August, up 5.8 percent from a year ago.