forsale.jpgBay Area home sales reached a five-year high in January even as the median home price continued to fall, according to a real estate information service.

A total of 5,479 homes sold in the nine-county Bay Area in January, a number that was up 10.3 percent from January 2011, according to DataQuick.

It was down 26 percent from December, but Dataquick officials said a decline is normal from December to January.

The median home price in January was $326,000, down 2.8 percent from December and 3.6 percent from December 2010.

Median home prices are at their lowest point since April 2009, when they reached $304,000. They hit their lowest point in the recent downturn in March 2009, at $290,000.

DataQuick officials said the median home price in part reflected declining property values along with a large proportion of sales made up by distressed and low-cost properties.

Distressed property sales made up 51 percent of the market in the Bay Area in January.

Sara Gaiser, Bay City News

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