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Home for Sale in Bay Area, Milpitas, San Jose, Fremont & Santa Clara Home for Sale    
July 16, 2009

La Jolla, CA.----Home sales in the Bay Area jumped to their highest level in almost three years, the result of improved mortgage availability and a perception among potential buyers that prices have bottomed out. The median price paid for a home increased month-to-month for the third month in a row, a real estate information service reported.
A total of 8,644 new and resale houses and condos sold across the nine-county Bay Area in June. That was up 16.1 percent from 7,447 in May and up 20.4 percent from 7,178 in June 2008, according to San Diego-based MDA DataQuick.
Home sales have increased on a year-over-year basis the last ten months. June sales have varied from a low of 7,118 in 1993 to 15,735 in 2004 in DataQuick’s statistics, which go back to 1988. Last month was 16.1 percent below the 10,306 for an average June.

“Getting mortgage financing this last year has really been an egregious process, especially for borrowers in the upper half of the market. We’re just now seeing the beginnings of more normal mortgage lending patterns. There’s still a long way to go, but it looks like the worst of the grind is over,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.
The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area was $352,000 last month, up 3.1 percent from $341,500 in May and down 27.4 percent from $485,000 in June 2008. It was the highest since $375,000 last October.

The current median is 47.1 percent below the $665,000 peak reached in June 2007. It hit a low of $290,000 in March this year. About half the downturn appears to be price declines, the other half is the absence of of high-end home sales in the statistics, which pulls the median down. Financing with home loans above the old “jumbo” limit of $417,000 edged up to the highest level in almost a year. Last month 28.8 percent of all Bay Area mortgages were jumbos, the highest since 31.9 percent in August last year and well above the bottom of 17.1 percent last January. Two years ago jumbos accounted for more than 60 percent of all home purchase loans.

Bank of America and Wells Fargo are the two most active lenders in the Bay Area with 30 percent of the market between them. Use of government-insured FHA loans – a common choice among first-time buyers – represented 24.1 percent of all Bay Area purchase loans in June, down from a record 26 percent in April but up from 10.7 percent a year ago.
MDA DataQuick is a division of MDA Lending Solutions, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates. MDA DataQuick monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts. Because of late data availability, sales counts were estimated in Alameda County. Last month 37.3 percent of all homes resold in the Bay Area had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months, down from 40.5 percent in May and the lowest since 36.0 percent in August 2008. The peak was 52.0 percent in February this year. By county, foreclosure resales ranged last month from 6.3 percent of all resales in Marin to 62.7 percent in Solano. The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed themselves to paying was $1,585 last month, up from $1,443 the previous month, and down from $2,407 a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, current payments are 39.7 percent below typical payments in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. They are 55.4 percent below the current cycle's peak in July 2007.
Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity remains near record levels, while financing with adjustable-rate mortgages is near the all-time low but has recently edged higher. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes and flipping rates are stable, and non-owner occupied buying is above-average in some markets, MDA DataQuick reported.