Home Sales Up Strongly Last Month

Home sales last month among all Bay Area counties were up strongly compared to the previous month, according to data released today by research firm CoreLogic.

Among all counties in the region, 7,876 new and existing homes and condos were sold in December compared with 6,224 in November, an increase of 26.5 percent.

Sales typically increase in the Bay Area between November and December, but this year’s increase was particularly high compared with a 9.7 percent average change between those two months since 1988.

“Last month’s San Francisco Bay Area home sales were the highest for a December in nine years and made for a strong finish to 2015, but there’s a caveat,” CoreLogic research analyst Andrew LePage said in a statement.

“December sales got a boost from some transactions that normally would have been recorded in November but were delayed by days or weeks as the industry adjusted to new federal mortgage rules that took effect in October,” LePage said.

The Bay Area’s increase in sales was strongest on a month-over-month basis in Solano County, CoreLogic officials said. Sales increased to 668 homes in December from 498 in November, a 34.1 percent jump.

Alameda County recorded the second-highest increase in sales. Sales rose to 1,733 homes from 1,301, an increase of 33.2 percent.

Last month’s sales were also up strongly from a year ago, an increase of 17.4 percent. Still, last month’s sales were off 6.6 percent from a 30-year average of 8,434 homes sold.

Median home prices in the Bay Area were up slightly last month from the previous month. The median price last month was $655,000, up 0.8 percent from $650,000 in November.

The December price is an increase of 12.9 percent from December 2014 when the median price was $580,000.

The price is 1.5 percent below the peak of $665,000 set in June and July 2007, according to CoreLogic officials.

Keith Burbank, Bay City News

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