San Francisco Bay Area home sales slowed in November while prices are still climbing compared to November 2004, a real estate information service reported today.

A total of 9,717 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the region last month. That was down 7.5 percent from 10,508 for October, and down 10.8 percent from 10,897 for November last year, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

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

A decline from October to November is normal for the season, DataQuick reported. November’s year-over-year decrease in November was the eighth in a row. Last year’s sales count was the strongest for any November in DataQuick’s statistics, which go back to 1988. Last month was the third-strongest November.

“Today’s Bay Area real estate market has all the characteristics of a relatively normal balanced market. We knew the year-ago numbers were unsustainably strong. Right now it looks like current trends will last well into 2006, with strong, but not record-breaking sales, and continued appreciation,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $625,000 last month, a new record. That was up 1.8 percent from $614,000 in October, and up 17.3 percent from $533,000 for November a year ago. Annual price increases so far this year have ranged from 17.2 percent to 20.5 percent.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed themselves to paying was $2,921 in November. That was up from $2,815 in October and $2,350 for November last year. Adjusted for inflation current payments are 16.5 percent higher than at the peak of the last real estate cycle in the spring of 1990.

Sales dropped most in San Mateo County (17.8 percent), Napa County (17.2 percent), and Solano County (15.7 percent), from November 2004 to November 2005, and did not rise in any Bay Area counties tracked by DataQuick.

Meanwhile, prices increased most during that period in Contra Costa County (24.3 percent), Solano County (22.5 percent), and Sonoma County (21.6 percent), in that time.

DataQuick reported that “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.”


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