Home sales in the San Francisco Bay Area had their best November ever last month, as prices reached a new peak, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 10,987 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county region in November, down 2.5 percent from 11,180 in October, and up 13.6 percent from 9,594 for November last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

At 123,770, sales for the first 11 months of this year have already passed sales for the whole of 2003, making 2004 a record year even before December sales are included.

“The strength of the market certainly has a lot of last year’s forecasters scratching their heads. Even with demand being stronger than expected, these numbers are remarkable. It’s interesting too that the appreciation rate has remained stable the past half year,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $533,000 last month, another record. That was up 1.7 percent from $524,000 in October, and up 17.1 percent from $455,000 for November a year ago. Year-over-year price increases have been in the 15 percent-18 percent range since April.

DataQuick, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

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