Solano, Bay Area real estate sales down in September

Real estate sales were down by double digits Bay Area-wide in September, but homes prices in the Vallejo area continued rising, according to the latest data released by CoreLogic.

This seems to show that the law of supply and demand still applies, Solano Association of Realtors President Linda Daraskavich said.

“There are fewer homes on the market, and the demand is still here for people to buy, and this is pushing prices up,” she said.

Home sales were down nearly 13 percent year-over-year in Solano County, while the median price of a house sold in September was $400,000, up more than 12 percent compared to a year ago, according to CoreLogic.

While the cost is rising, home prices in the Vallejo area remained the Bay Area’s most affordable by a significant margin, with Contra Costa County’s $560,000 being the second least expensive median price, followed by Santa Clara’s $570,000 and Sonoma’s $571,500. The San Mateo area’s $1.1 million median sale price was the Bay Area’s most expensive in September, the report shows.

The situation was similar on a month-over-month basis, as well, with the number of homes sold in the Vallejo area in September, down more than 9 percent compared to August, and prices up half a percent — one of only three areas where that figure didn’t fall.

The steepest month-over-month price rise was the Marin County area’s 4.1 percent increase, from $965,000 to just over $1 million.

Since 1988, the average change in sales between August and September is a decline of 10.9 percent, CoreLogic officials said.

“With tight inventory and prices up significantly from last year, homes sales this September fell on a year-over-year basis in all but two of the San Francisco Bay Area’s nine counties — Marin and Santa Clara,” CoreLogic’s research analyst Andrew LePage said. “The region-wide 7.5 percent year-over-year sales decline (in September) makes the severity of the decreases in the lower price ranges where many first-time buyers face a daunting challenge in one of the nation’s priciest housing markets. The number of deals recorded last month for less than $500,000 fell about 28 percent year over year, while deals below $300,000 plunged 41.5 percent. The share of the region’s home sales below $500,000 has dropped from about one-third of the market a year ago to about a quarter of the market today.”

The median price paid for all homes sold in the San Francisco Bay Area in September 2017 was $739,000, down .1 percent from $740,000 in August 2017, and up 13.7 percent compared to a year ago, CoreLogic officials said. The San Francisco Bay Area’s median sale price hit an all-time high of $775,000 in June.

Government-insured Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans accounted for 9 percent of home purchase loans in the Bay Area in September, down from 11.2 percent in both August, 2017 and a year ago. Low-down-payment FHA loans accounted for a substantially higher share of home purchase loans in the more affordable Bay Area locations, like Solano County, which had the highest FHA share in September at 21 percent, followed by Contra Costa County at 15.1 percent and Sonoma County’s 9.4 percent.

Contact Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at (707) 553-6824.

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