San Francisco Bay Area home sales sank in July from a year earlier, according to DataQuick Information Systems, a real estate information service, and home prices dropped from June to July.

After reaching a new record in Bay Area median home prices in June 2005, at $610,000, the median price slipped to $606,000 in July, DataQuick reported. But home-price increases were still in double digits from July 2004 to July 2005 in all of the Bay Area counties tracked by DataQuick.

Home sales were down 10.8 percent from July 2004 to July 2005 for the entire Bay Area, and dropped 21 percent in San Francisco County, 18.3 percent in San Mateo County, 15.4 percent in Marin County and 13.3 percent in Alameda County. Solano County, meanwhile, was the only Bay Area county tracked by DataQuick that had a sales increase in that time – sales there edged up 2.3 percent there from July 2004 to July 2005.

Meanwhile, median home prices climbed 17.9 percent in the Bay Area from July 2004 to July 2005, and were up 23.3 percent in Contra Costa County, 21.6 percent in Solano County, 19.6 percent in Santa Clara County and 19.4 percent in Sonoma and San Francisco counties. Prices increased least in Marin County, at 11 percent. The median price for a Bay Area home was $606,000 in July 2005, DataQuick reported. Marin County had the highest median price for a Bay Area home, at $806,000, while Solano County had the lowest median price at $450,000.

The Bay Area real estate market took a breather last month as sales and prices took a baby step back from the record territory of recent months, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 11,470 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county region last month. That was down 11.9 percent from 13,014 for June, and down 10.8 percent from 12,862 for July last year, according to DataQuick.

The July 2004 sales count was the strongest for that calendar month in DataQuick’s statistics, which go back to 1988. Last June’s sales count was the second-strongest June.

“No records were set last month. Does that mean the market is turning? Probably not. Sure, July was the first month this year that Bay Area home prices didn’t reach a new peak. But more important than reaching new highs every month is how stable and sustainable the market is. Right now, things are looking pretty good,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $606,000. That was down 0.7 percent from $610,000 in June, and up 17.9 percent from $514,000 for July a year ago.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed themselves to paying was $2,652 in July. That was up one dollar from $2,651 in June. A year ago it was $2,361. 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.

DataQuick 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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