San Francisco Bay Area home prices reached a new peak in October while sales activity continued to decline, a real estate information service reported.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home climbed to a record $524,000 last month, up 1.6 percent from $516,000 in September, and up 17.5 percent from $446,000 for October a year ago, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

A total of 11,180 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county region in October. That was down 7.4 percent from 12,075 in September, and down 4.7 percent from 11,728 for October last year, DataQuick reported.

Last month was the second-strongest October in DataQuick’s records, which go back to 1988; October 2003 was the strongest. So far this year, 112,837 Bay Area homes have been sold, up 11.5 percent from 101,201 for the same 10-month period last year.

“There are a lot of potential buyers out there and they’re finding more homes for sale than was the case a half-year ago. Mortgage interest rates have bottomed out and a lot of buyers want to get in before they go up any further,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

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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