San Francisco Home Prices Lowest in Decade

For more real estate news, please visit: Also check out BankingMyWay to compare mortgage rates. San Francisco Bay Area home sales beat the year-ago mark for the sixth straight month in February as the winter market sizzled in many foreclosure-heavy inland areas offering the deepest discounts. The median price dipped below $300,000 for the first time since late 1999, pushed lower by an abundance of inland distressed sales and a dearth of coastal high-end activity, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 5,032 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the nine-county Bay Area last month. That was essentially unchanged from 5,050 in January but up 26.1% from 3,989 in February 2008, according to according to MDA DataQuick. The San Diego firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

Last month's sales were the fifth-lowest for a February since 1988, when DataQuick's statistics begin, and 22% below the average 6,410 for the month. February sales have ranged from a low of 3,989 in 2008 to a high of 8,901 in 2002.

Only 321 newly constructed homes sold last month, down 55% from 713 a year ago, the lowest on record for a February, and the second-lowest for any month back to 1988. Many builders have had a difficult time competing with falling resale prices - especially foreclosures.

The allure of such discounted foreclosures helped lift sales of existing single-family houses to record levels for a February in Vallejo, Brentwood, Antioch, Pittsburg, Oakley and Gilroy.