Jul 29, 2014
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Median Home Price Rises in Santa Cruz

Both the number of homes sold and the median price at which they were purchased rose in the fall, according to a real estate information service.

Median Home Price Rises in Santa Cruz

Citing increased demand, strained inventory, record-low mortgage rates and robust investor interest, a real estate information service reported this month that Santa Cruz County home sales continued its rise in this fall.

DataQuick reported that the median home price in Santa Cruz County rose to $449,000 in October, up almost 15 percent from $390,500 a year earlier. A total of 211 homes were sold in the county in October.

The rise of the median home price in Santa Cruz County had some individual cities with big spikes, according to DataQuick's city data for October. In Santa Cruz, for instance, the median home price jumped from $466,500 in October 2011 to $599,000 in October 2012, a nearly 29 percent increase.

Capitola, Soquel, Watsonville and Boulder Creek all had double-digital, year-over-year percentage increases in their median home price.

But some areas of Santa Cruz County had significant declines. Average home prices in Felton dropped 24.8 percent to $288,000. In Aptos they fell 16.68 percent to $489,500.

Here's a breakdown of Santa Cruz County home sales and median price:

Area# SoldMedian Price
Oct. 2012
Median Price
Oct. 2011
% Change
Year-to-YearAptos 41 $489,500 $587,500 -16.68% Ben Lomond 5 $336,000 $395,000 -14.94% Boulder Creek 18 $245,000 $193,250 26.78% Capitola 10 $454,500 $380,000 19.61% Felton 12 $288,000 $383,000 -24.80% Santa Cruz 67 $599,000 $466,500 28.40% Scotts Valley 14 $490,000 $540,000 -9.26% Soquel 4 $612,000 $494,000 23.89% Watsonville 39 $300,000 $260,000 15.38% Santa Cruz County 211 $449,000 $390,500 14.98%

A total of 7,296 new and resale homes were sold in the nine-county Bay Area last month, which does not include Santa Cruz County. That was up 15.5 percent from 6,317 for November 2011, according to DataQuick.

“Current trends are likely to stay with us well into spring, at least,” John Walsh, DataQuick president, said in a statement. "One of the variables that could really impact the market would be supply—how many homes are put up for sale. There are still mortgage finance issues. Some loan categories are not active. But right now, low mortgage interest rates make up for that."

The median price paid for a home in the Bay Area was $438,000 in November. That was up 5.3 percent from $416,000 in October and up 20.5 percent from $363,500 in November a year ago. Last month’s median was the highest since August 2008, when it was $447,000.

Here's a Bay Area breakdown of home sales and median price: 

All Homes#Sold #Sold % ChangeMedianMedian% ChangeNov. 2011Nov. 2012Nov. 2011Nov. 2012Marin239       272 13.8% $629,000 $682,000   8.4%Alameda1,334 1,525 23.7% $340,000 $415,000 22.1%Contra Costa1,225 1,394 13.8% $255,000 $322,000 26.3%Napa 99 133 34.3%  $297,000 $360,000  21.2%Santa Clara 1,478 1,707 15.5% $452,000 $550,000 13%San Francisco422 524 24.2% $644,500 $728,000 25.1%San Mateo513 612 19.3% $542,500 $618,000 13.9%Solano522 584 11.9% $190,000 $221,500 16.6%Sonoma 485         545 12.4% $285,000 $349,000 22.5%Bay Area6,317 7,296 15.5% $363,500 $438,000  20.5%

Last month distressed property sales—the combination of foreclosure resales and “short sales”—made up 35.0 percent of the resale market. Foreclosure resales—homes that had been foreclosed on in the prior 12 months—accounted for 11.5 percent of resales in November. 

Absentee buyers, mostly investors, purchased 24.4 percent of all Bay Area homes in November, up from 23.7 percent in October, and up from 21.7 percent a year ago.

Tell us in comments: How are rising home prices affecting you?

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