Monday, July 24, 2006

Home sales decline but prices don't

Article Launched: 7/20/2006 07:07 AM

Home sales decline but prices don't

By Reporter Staff
Solano County's June home sales dropped more than 36 percent compared to June 2005 and median home prices rose 7.3 percent for the same period, DataQuick Information Systems reported Wednesday. But that doesn't mean the real estate market is headed for trouble, said Marshall Prentice, the real estate information service's president.

"The market is definitely slowing but can only be considered 'slow' when compared to the hot market of 2004 and 2005," he said in a written statement. "In reality, today's market is pretty normal and balanced, right between the grim times of 1993 to 1995 and the frenzies of 1999 and 2004-2005. ... It looks like prices could flatten out sometime this fall. What happens after that is anyone's guess."

Though all Bay Area counties experienced a year-over decline in June home sales, Solano's was the largest at 36 percent. Sonoma County followed close behind with a 32 percent drop for the same periods, while Marin County experienced the least amount of change with a 4 percent decline. Bay Area home sales, as a whole, were down 24 percent, DataQuick said.

Meanwhile, the Bay Area's median home prices rose from June 2005 to June 2006, but at the slowest rate in three years, according to DataQuick. Solano's median home price experienced the greatest year-over increase among the nine Bay Area counties - it rose 7.3 percent, from $449,000 to $482,000. Marin County's home prices remain the region's highest - June's median average was $829,000.

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