The Bay Area’s median home price slid 4 percent in October amid what analysts described as lackluster sales activity.
The median price for all houses and condos dropped to $350,000 from $365,000 in September, according to real estate information service DataQuick of San Diego. The price was the lowest in eight months and down nearly 9 percent from a year ago.
Buyers purchased 6,444 homes last month in the nine-county Bay Area. That was down almost 5 percent from September, but up 5 percent from October 2010.
High-end sales dropped last month, analysts said, likely as a result of the reduction nationally to the maximum loan amounts for federally backed loans. In Sonoma County, the loan limit decreased Oct. 1 from $662,500 to $520,950.
“We’ve been watching the real estate market take itty bitty baby steps in the direction of normalcy, but that trend paused last month,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.
Last month, 30 percent of Bay Area sales were for prices of $500,000 or more, compared to 37 a year earlier.
The number of homes that sold for $500,000 or more last month fell 20 percent from October 2010, while the number of homes sold under $500,000 rose 9 percent for the same period.
Jumbo loans, defined as mortgages above $417,000, accounted for almost 30 percent of last month’s purchase lending, down from 34 percent a year ago. Before the credit crunch struck in August 2007, jumbos accounted for nearly 60 percent of the Bay Area purchase loan market.
Short sales — where the sales price was less than the amount owed on the property — made up an estimated 20 percent of sales and foreclosure properties accounted for another 25 percent.
An estimated 29 percent of sales were all-cash transactions, up from 24 percent a year earlier.
— Robert Digitale