October Home Sales Rise in Bay Area, Bucking Statewide Trend

Pacific Union has written several stories recently about the surprising strength of the Bay Area’s real estate markets in the normally slow autumn months. Our optimism is confirmed by the latest sales figures from the California Association of Realtors, which show that Bay Area home sales rose 13 percent from September to October  — in marked contrast with the statewide average, which fell 3 percent for single-family homes.

Homs in San Francisco's Bernal HeightsSan Francisco and San Mateo counties posted the highest sales gains, both up 30 percent in a month’s time.

Alameda and Solano counties also saw robust sales, both up 24 percent, followed by Marin County (up 14 percent), Sonoma County (up 9 percent), and Santa Clara County (up 2 percent). Sales were down 4 percent in Contra Costa County and 2 percent in Napa County.

Comparing October sales data with year-ago figures also shows the Bay Area’s resiliency: While statewide October sales dropped 11 percent from 2012 to 2013, they held steady (up 0.1 percent) in the Bay Area.

Meanwhile, the rapid rise of home prices eased a bit in the nine-county Bay Area, with the median price slipping 1 percent from the previous month but rising 15 percent from a year earlier. Statewide, the median price fell 0.3  percent from September to October but rose 25 percent over a year’s time.

Marin County was home to the highest median sales price in the state in October, at $959,740, followed by San Mateo County ($910,000), and San Francisco ($844,510).

Median sales prices elsewhere in the Bay Area: Santa Clara County ($770,000), Contra Costa County ($740,200), Alameda County ($618,930), Napa County ($497,730), Sonoma County ($469,900), and Solano County ($294,920).

Statewide, the median sales price in October for a single-family home was $427,290.

The CAR figures dovetail with Pacific Union’s own October Real Estate Update, released two weeks ago, which tracks a variety of statistics from more-narrowly focused regions. Our report also noted more-moderate increases in home prices and tightening inventory.

An earlier story, examining data from the CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indexes, noted that three Bay Area regions finished among the top 10 in the United States in terms of yearly price increases.

(Image: Flickr/James Gaither)

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