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Home sales statewide surge amid price drops

Nearly half of homes sold are foreclosures, data for August show.

September 19, 2008|From the Associated Press

Home sales in California surged 13.6% in August as a flood of foreclosures tugged down prices.

The figures released Thursday by MDA DataQuick showed 37,988 new and previously owned homes were sold statewide last month, up 13.6% from August 2007 but down 3.8% from July.

The firm said 46.9% of all homes sold last month were foreclosed properties. That helped send the statewide median home price plunging 35.3% to $301,000 during the year ended in August.

In the Bay Area, the median price plunged 31.8% last month to $447,000, from $655,000 in August 2007.

There were 7,232 new and resale homes and condos sold in the nine-county area last month, down 0.9% from August 2007.

Sales were restrained by difficulty obtaining credit for the region's high-priced homes, MDA DataQuick President John Walsh said.

"Mortgage availability will eventually loosen up; we just don't know when, especially after the past few days," he said.

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