San Francisco Bay Area home sales declined on a year-over-year basis for the seventh month in a row in October, according to DataQuick Information Systems, a real estate information company. The median home price in October was up 17.2 percent since October 2004 but slipped 0.3 percent from September 2005.

A total of 10,508 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county Bay Area on a year-over-year basis, which DataQuick attributed to rising mortgage interest rates and reduced demand. That was down 6.2 percent from 11,205 for September, and down 6 percent from 11,180 for October last year, the company reported.

Sales have been lower compared to 2004 every month since April. So far this year 107,099 Bay Area homes have been sold, 5.1 percent fewer than 112,873 for the same ten-month period last year.

“We look at today’s market as normalizing. Everybody seems to have gotten used to the records set last year and the year before. The fact is that last month was the third-strongest October since we started keeping records in 1988. It was about 20 percent above average,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $614,000 last month. That was down 0.3 percent from $616,000 in September. Annual price increases so far this year have ranged from 17.2 percent to 20.5 percent.

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.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed themselves to paying was $2,815 in October. That was up from $2,722 in September. A year ago it was $2,419.

“Indicators of market distress are still largely absent. Foreclosure rates are low, down payment sizes are stable and there have been no significant shifts in market mix,” DataQuick reported.

Sales dropped 11 percent in Alameda County, 10.2 percent in San Mateo County, 9.2 percent in Napa County, 6.9 percent in San Francisco County, 6.6 percent in Contra Costa County, 4.3 percent in Solano County, 2.2 percent in Marin County, 1.8 percent in Sonoma County, and 1.5 percent in Santa Clara County from October 2004 to October 2005.

Median prices increased 22.9 percent in Contra Costa County, 18.8 percent in Marin County, 18.2 percent in Sonoma County, 16.8 percent in San Francisco County, 15.8 percent in Santa Clara County, 15.7 percent in San Mateo County, 15.4 percent in Napa County, 15.3 percent in Solano County, and 14.9 percent in Alameda County from October 2004 to October 2005, DataQuick also reported.


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