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Data Quick reported that Bay Area home sales bucked the seasonal norm and fell last month from July, though they remained higher than a year ago for the 12th consecutive month. The region overall median sale price also declined as a greater portion of sales occurred in more lower priced areas.

A total of 7,518 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the nine-county Bay Area last month. That was down 14.3 percent from 8,771 in July and up 4.0 percent from 7,232 in August 2008, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.

San Jose Mercury News reported:In Santa Clara County, the median price of houses that changed hands in August was $515,000, down nearly 5 percent from $540,000 in July, and down 13 percent from August last year. The median condo price was $313,500, up 4.5 percent from $300,000 in July but down about 19 percent from August 2008.

Across the Bay Area, home sales above $500,000 represented 34 percent of all sales in August, down from 36.2 percent in July and down from 44.7 percent in August 2008. Sales of homes above $800,000 fell to 12.2 percent of sales in August, down from 14.1 percent in July and 18.9 percent a year earlier.

Part of the mid-summer pause in the market could have been caused by home shoppers becoming frustrated by market conditions they didn’t anticipate. In many areas there were fewer homes, especially cheap foreclosures, to choose from, and lots of talk about multiple offers and all-cash deals. It might have driven some back to the sidelines, said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.

Foreclosure resales made up 32.5 percent of total August resales, up from 31.2 percent in July but down from 36.0 percent a year ago. The August percentage was higher than July, despite fewer foreclosed homes selling last month, because of the sharp drop in non-foreclosure resales in August.
Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosures are off their recent peak but remain high historically, while financing with adjustable-rate mortgages has edged higher but remains low, as does financing with multiple mortgages. Down payment sizes are stable and non-owner occupied buying is above-average in some markets, MDA DataQuick reported.

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Source: MDA DataQuick Information Systems,