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Marin's Median Home Price Continues to Rise

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

Citing increased demand, strained inventory, record-low mortgage rates and robust investor interest, a real estate information service reported Thursday that the median home price in Marin continued its year-over-year rise in November.

DataQuick reported that the median home price in Marin rose to $682,000 in November, up 8.4 percent percent from $629,000 a year earlier. The median price has steadily risen in recent months, from $650,000 in September to $660,000 in October. 

While the number of homes sold in November couldn't match the precipitous 45 percent year-over-year rise in October, 272 homes were sold in November, up 13.8 percent from 239 in November 2011. A drop in home sales from October to November is normal for the season, the company stated.

The continued rise of the median home price in Marin had some individual cities showing remarkable spikes, according to DataQuick's city data for October. In Novato, for instance, the mnedian home price jumped from $394,000 in October 2011 to $555,000 in October 2012, a nearly 41 percent jump.

Corte Madera, Fairfax, Mill Valley and San Rafael all had double-digital, year-over-year percentage increases in their median home price.

The month of strong sales and rising sale prices in Marin was on part with most of the Bay Area housing market, which "continued its march toward normalcy in November," DataQuick reported.

A total of 7,296 new and resale homes were sold in the nine-county Bay Area last month. 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.

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.

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

All Homes #Sold  #Sold  % Change Median Median % Change Nov. 2011 Nov. 2012 Nov. 2011 Nov. 2012 Marin 239       272 13.8% $629,000 $682,000   8.4% Alameda 1,334 1,525 23.7% $340,000 $415,000 22.1% Contra Costa 1,225 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 Francisco 422 524 24.2% $644,500 $728,000 25.1% San Mateo 513 612 19.3% $542,500 $618,000 13.9% Solano 522 584 11.9% $190,000 $221,500 16.6% Sonoma  485         545 12.4% $285,000 $349,000 22.5% Bay Area 6,317 7,296 15.5% $363,500 $438,000  20.5%

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