San Francisco Bay Area home prices set another record in August, as sales picked up from the month before, a real estate information service reported.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $619,000 last month, according to DataQuick Information Systems. That was up 2.1 percent from $606,000 in July, and up 19 percent from $520,000 in August 2004. Annual price increases have been in the upper teens for a year-and-a-half, the service reported.

A total of 12,154 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county region last month, up 6 percent from 11,470 for July but down 4.1 percent from 12,674 for August last year, according to DataQuick.

The year-ago sales count was the strongest for any August in DataQuick’s statistics, which go back to 1988.

“We’re a bit surprised at how stable the market is in all categories. Usually one segment of the market will be outperforming the others,” said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president. “Right now, though, the same trends apply to all parts of the market from entry-level on up to the prestige market. This stability means that the market will probably stay strong at least through the end of the year.”

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed themselves to paying was $2,761 in August, up from $2,652 in July and $2,341 in August 2004.

Indicators of market distress are still largely absent, as 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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