Monday, July 25, 2005

County housing-price increase leads Bay Area region

By Jeff Mitchell

FAIRFIELD - Solano County's ever-escalating residential home-price increase led the entire nine county Bay Area region in June, DataQuick Information Systems officials announced this week.

From June 2004 through 2005 Solano County saw the median prices for residential real estate rise from $358,000 to $449,000, a 25.4 percent increase, DataQuick said in a press statement.

Veteran Solano County broker Annie Vogelpohl said Thursday she was not surprised by the rising prices or the sharp increase in local home sales - particularly by out-of-town buyers.

"This county remains one the last great areas in Northern California in terms of home values," Vogelpohl said. "It's been an exciting time. We've been extremely busy."

Closely following Solano County was Sonoma County, which saw the median price of homes increase 24.1 percent.

While Solano County topped median home price increases on a percentage basis, the Bay Area region in general passed a milestone as well in June, when median home prices across the region hit their second- highest level at $610,000, DataQuick officials said.

A total of 13,014 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county region last month. That was up 2.5 percent from 11,308 for May, and down 7.7 percent from 14,104 for June last year,

The year-ago June sales count was the highest in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988.

"Robust demand, unchanging mortgage interest rates and a few more homes on the market are the likely factors behind the strong June numbers. We expect the rest of the summer to be like this," said DataQuick President Marshall Prentice.

The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $610,000, a new record. That was up 2.5 percent from $595,000 in May, and up 18.2 percent from $516,000 for June a year ago. The median went through the $500,000 range in 13 months, it was in the $400,000 range for 25 months before that.

Indicators of market distress are still largely absent. Foreclosure rates are low, down-payment sizes are stable and there have been no significant shifts in market mix, DataQuick reported.

DataQuick Information Systems contributed to this report.

Reach Jeff Mitchell at 427-6977 or

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