9/11/14| Pete Carey| San Jose Mercury News| Link

After a red-hot start to the year, the Bay Area’s housing market is heading toward a fall and winter hibernation that should be easier for buyers battered by frenzied competition for a scant supply of homes for sale.

“We’re edging back to normalcy,” said Andrew LePage of CoreLogic DataQuick.

 This year’s big annual price gains came early, with February recording a 30 percent yearly gain for Bay Area single-family homes; March, 28.7 percent; and April 17, percent, as homebuyers strove to outbid one another for the few homes on the market. Price gains began leveling off in June and July. And August continued the trend, with slowing sales and more moderate sales price gains — especially in the South Bay — the real estate information service CoreLogic DataQuick reported Thursday. In August, the median sale price of a single-family home in the nine-county Bay Area was up 10.5 percent to $650,000 from a year earlier. That compares with a 35.2 percent year-over-year price gain in August of last year, according to the Irvine-based company. 20140911_073050_SJM-HOUSING-0912_400 LePage said trends show there are fewer investors competing with regular buyers, and banks are making more loans that are over the so-called “conforming jumbo” limit of $417,000, which can carry lower interest rates and are vital to buyers in the high-cost Bay Area. Prices were up the most in Alameda County, where they rose 17.3 percent to $668,500. Smaller gains were reported elsewhere. Prices were up 9.9 percent to $478,000 in Contra Costa County; up 6.1 percent to $790,000 in Santa Clara County; and up 4.2 percent to $904,000 in San Mateo County. That compares with last August’s year-over-year gains of 32 percent in Alameda County, 39.4 percent in Contra Costa County, 24 percent in Santa Clara County and 33.5 percent in San Mateo. Alameda County is essentially back to its pre-crash peak set in 2007, according to CoreLogic DataQuick, while Santa Clara and San Mateo counties have already surpassed their former peaks. Contra Costa County still has a way to go — it’s still nearly 27 percent below its high. Some real estate agents in the East Bay said they were beginning to see price reductions as sellers realize they have missed the big buying season. Sales of single-family homes were down 8.1 percent in the nine-county Bay Area in August, compared with a mere 3.2 percent year-over-year drop in August 2013, CoreLogic DataQuick said. Santa Clara County sales sagged 15.7 percent and Alameda County sales dropped by 12.2 percent from last August. Defying that trend, Contra Costa County had a 4.2 percent gain and San Mateo County sales rose 4.5 percent over the year. See More    ]]>

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