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Prices Soared as San Francisco Pre Foreclosures Slowed

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
As the pace of San Francisco pre foreclosures slowed, home prices in the Bay Area soared.

The median price for newly-built and existing homes and condo units in the San Francisco Bay Area soared in March to $380,000, a sharp spike of 31 percent from the $290,000 median in March last year and a jump of 7.3 percent from the $354,000 median in February.

Local realtors contended that the rise in the median price was partly caused by the increase in sales of higher-cost homes and the decline in foreclosure sales.

Total house sales in the Bay Area increased to 6,992 residential units in March this year, a jump of 10.5 percent from the 6,325 units sold in March last year, but still 22.4-percent below the average sales during the housing boom.

The pace of San Francisco pre foreclosures followed the declining statewide trend in the first three months of 2010. As the overall number of mortgage defaults statewide dropped by 4.2 percent to 81,054 notices in the first quarter, the number of defaults in the Bay Area also dropped by 30.5 percent from the previous quarter to 13,517 default notices in the first quarter.

Local analysts said that while the pace of foreclosure has been slowing in lower-cost markets, which were hit hard immediately by the foreclosure crisis, the foreclosure pace is now rising in higher-cost markets.

The number of housing units entering listings of foreclosed homes for sale has also been rising. In the first quarter, the total number of units that were repossessed by banks reached 8,203 units, down by 13.48 percent from the total in the final quarter of 2009.

Similarly, the number of units that entered Public Foreclosure Auctions in California in the first quarter reached 8,203 units, a drop of 16 percent from the total in the fourth quarter of 2009.

In San Francisco County, the number of actual foreclosures rose by 91 percent in the first quarter. However, the total number, which is 193, is relatively small.

The more optimistic realtors in the Bay Area said that foreclosures are not dragging down home prices in the area significantly, although there could still be surges in foreclosure activity because of expected rise in mortgage defaults in the area.

Some realtors believe that the pursuit by lenders this year of delayed completion of San Francisco pre foreclosures last year could cause an uptick in foreclosure activity.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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