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Bay Area housing market heads upward

October 15, 2012|By Alejandro Lazo
  • A row of historical Victorian homes contrasts serenely with the San Francisco skyline. The median home price in the Bay Area last month climbed to its highest point in more than four years.
A row of historical Victorian homes contrasts serenely with the San Francisco… (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP…)

Indicating further improvement in California housing, the Bay Area’s median home price climbed to its highest level in more than four years, new data show.

Home buyers in the Bay Area paid a median $429,000, which was 4.6% more for a home than last month and 17.5% from the prior month. That was the highest level since August 2008, real estate firm DataQuick of San Diego reported.

“It’s obvious that a lot of fence-sitters are getting active,” DataQuick president John Walsh said in a release.  “We’re probably passed that most attractive of mathematical sweet spots, the one that combines low interest rates and low prices … potential buyers are also encountering fewer homes for sale.”

Sales of both newly built and previously owned homes were down 20.2% from August but up 1.5% from September 2011. Such a decline month to month is typical and was exaggerated this year because September had fewer business days.

Short sales, where a bank allows a borrower to sell a home for less than the outstanding debt, made up a bigger share of the market than foreclosed homes — a trend that emerged earlier this year.

Foreclosures made up 13.9% of the resale market last month, down from 25.4% in September 2011. Short sales made up an estimated 23.5% of the market last month, down from 24.4% in September 2011.

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