San Francisco Foreclosures for Sale Accounted for 32 Percent

by Donald Hanz on Foreclosure Rates

San Francisco foreclosures for sale accounted for almost 32 percent of all house sales in October, based on data from a market research provider.

Although the foreclosure percentage marked a decrease from the 32.3-percent share in September and from the 44-percent share in October last year and marked the lowest level reached since June 2008 when foreclosure sales accounted for 29.9 percent of overall home sales, the October foreclosure percentage this year was still high, compared to other markets.

According to the research company, the total of newly-built and pre-owned homes and condo units sold in October increased to 7,933 units, a jump from the 7,879 units sold off in September and from the 7,613 units sold in October last year.

Home sales prices also increased, with the price median rising by almost seven percent to $390,000 from the $365,000 median in September and by four percent from the October 2008 median of $375,000.

The rise in the median price in October marked the first time that the median increased over a 12-month period. The last time there was an increase over a one-year period was in November of 2007, when the median rose by 1.5 percent over the November 2006 median.

Bay Area analysts said that the median price rose because of the drop in the share of San Francisco foreclosures for sale in overall home sales. The October 2009 median was the highest since July when the median reached $395,000, the highest level so far this year, but it was however lower by more than 41 percent from the peak median of $665,000 reached in the middle of 2007.

Another reason for the rise in the median was the increase in sales of houses in the price range of $500,000. Total sales of homes worth more than $500,000 comprised 36 percent of all sales in October, marking an increase from the 34.9-percent share in October last year and a significant rise from the 22.7-percent share in January.

Overall home sales in higher-cost neighborhoods also increased, with sales in Santa Clara, San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo comprising 42.2 percent of all house sales in October, a jump of more than 35 percent from October last year.