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No more Golden Gate

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 16, 2005

The once red-hot San Francisco market is starting to cool. New info from market researcher DataQuick shows the number of homes and condos sold in the Bay Area fell 11.9% from June to July and 10.8% from July, 2004. July of last year was a record month with 12,800 homes sold. The median price paid in July was $606,000, down 0.7 percent from June, but still up 17.9 percent from July of a year ago. Is the party over for Northern Californians? It’s too early to call a turn in the market. But July was the first month this year that Bay Area home prices didn’t reach a new peak.

Reader Comments


August 19, 2005 11:40 AM

From the Sacramento (CA) Bee: "Region's home sales signal softer market 'For Sale' signs mushroom, stay up longer."

It seems the air is leaking out of the California central valley market including Sacramento. The real reason not eluded to in the article is the cost of gas (now nearly $3 per gallon is squeezing owners that commute from the central valley to the bay area. Now many are finding out they can't have it both ways - without taking an economic toll on the household budget - so many are selling out. The housing collapse if now officially underway.

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Kevin Kelly

September 4, 2005 12:01 AM

Data-quick is careful to mention that the Bay Area market is seasonal. Even in the steepest run-ups, it does not go up every month. Therefore, to insinuate that the market is crashing from it being below a record peak for two months is quite rash unless one normalizes for the usual real estate cycle.

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BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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