Bay Area Real Estate Market Turns in Strong Performance in March
More momentum is good!
From entry-level homes to the luxury estates, the Bay Area’s housing market gained more momentum in March, according to a number of recently released industry reports.
March home sales in the region were at their highest level for that month in five years, the result of lower prices, low interest rates and an improving economy, according to DataQuick, the La Jolla-based real estate research firm.
Some 7,694 new and existing houses and condos sold in the nine-county Bay Area in March, up 34.9 percent from February and 9.1 percent from March 2011, DataQuick reported. Last month’s sales total was the highest for the month of March since 8,317 homes were sold in 2007.
The strongest sales gains were in Solano, Sonoma, San Mateo and San Francisco counties with 13.2 percent, 12.1 percent, 11.4 percent and 11.3 percent increases, respectively, from March 2011.
“This is the time of year when buying patterns usually start to normalize,” said John Walsh, president of the research firm. “And while the changes we’re seeing are incremental, they’re incremental in a positive direction.”
Having said that, DataQuick cautioned that there continue to be potential bumps along the road to a normalized market. Walsh said he’s watching closely the number of distressed properties coming onto the market, as well as the ready availability of mortgage financing – or a lack thereof.
The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Bay Area last month was $358,000, according to DataQuick. That’s up 10.2 percent from February, and down fractionally from $360,000 in March 2011. The decline on a year over year basis was the smallest since October 2010.