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Twin Cities Home Sales On The Rise

Median home prices dip in Corte Madera, but spike in Larkspur and Greenbrae, according to a real estate data tracker.

The median sale price for Bay Area homes rose for the second consecutive month in May, driven by a high number of sales and increased activity at the higher ends of the market, according to figures released recently.

Total home sales in the nine-county Bay Area were up 14.8 percent in May to 8,810 from the previous month and up 26.1 percent from the same month last year, according to real estate information service DataQuick.

Corte Madera and Larkspur showed a relatively dramatic increase in sales in May 2012. There were 16 home sales in Corte Madera, a 166.7 percent increase from May 2011, while the median price dropped by 1.6 percent to $848,500. Larkspur showed a 100 percent increase with 14 sales at a median price of $1 million, up 73.9 percent from last year.

Activity slowed in Greenbrae, where there 15 sales, a drop of 16.7 percent. The median home price was $1.7 million, a boost of 69.9 percent over the same time last year.

Marin County Zip Sales % Chg Median Price % Chg High Price $/SqFt % Chg Belvedere/ Tiburon 94920 18 28.6% $1,625,000 7.8% $3,120,000 $631 -3.5% Corte Madera 94925 16 166.7% $848,500 -1.6% $1,275,000 $558 5.6% Fairfax 94930 6 -33.3% $577,000 9.8% $1,640,000 $399 18.6% Greenbrae 94904 15 -16.7% $1,700,000 69.9% $4,720,000 $601 26.9% Inverness 94937 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a Larkspur 94939 14 100% $1,000,000 73.9% $2,600,000 $618 23.8% Mill Valley 94941 36 28.6% $1,100,000 21.8% $2,295,000 $624 11.4% Novato 94945 32 68.4% $425,000 -18.3% $889,000 $244 -9.4% Novato 94947 28 75.0% $365,000 -18.2% $788,000 $279 -8.7% Novato 94949 15 -16.7% $594,500 5% $1,308,000 $281 2.5% Ross 94957 3 -40% $3,612,500 22.5% $5,000,000 $948 14.6% San Anselmo 94960 21 90.9% $829,000 14.8% $2,975,000 $452 5.0% San Rafael 94901 28 0.0% $490,500 -2.3% $1,570,000 $356 2.3% San Rafael 94903 43 26.5% $512,000 -12.5% $966,000 $352 -3.5% Sausalito 94965 8 -50% $349,500 -46.6% $1,295,000 $447 -24.4% Stinson Beach 94970 4 100% $3,100,000 46.2% $6,200,000 $1,906 59.2%

Reporting resale single family residences and condos as well as new homes
* % Change is from last year
— Information provided by DataQuick

Sales in the Bay Area for May reached a six-year high, but were still 8.8 percent below the average recorded for May by DataQuick since 1988. They reached a record low in 2008, when only 6,216 homes were sold in May in the nine-county Bay Area, and a record high only a few years earlier in 2004, at 13,567.

"It's not exactly a stampede, but people are starting to move off the housing market sidelines in numbers we haven't seen in quite a while," said DataQuick President John Walsh.

The median price in the Bay Area rose to $400,000 in May, up 2.6 percent from April and up 7.5 percent from May 2011. May was only the second month since 2010 that median prices have risen year over year.

The median home price in the Bay Area reached a low of $290,000 in March 2009, and a peak of $665,000 in June and July of 2007.

One factor in the increase in median prices is a change in the mix of what is selling, Walsh said. Foreclosures are a smaller percentage of sales and higher-priced properties are moving in larger numbers than in recent years.

Median home prices rose in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Solano counties, but fell in Marin, Napa, San Mateo and Sonoma counties, according to DataQuick. The highest median price in May was $701,000 in San Francisco, and the lowest was $190,000 in Solano County.

— Bay City News

Featured Listings

391 North Almenar Drive, Greenbrae; Listed at $1,495,000; 4 Bed, 3 1/2 Bath; 2,786 sq. ft.

2 Presidio Court, Corte Madera; Listed at $1,125,000; 4 Bed, 3 Bath; 2,460 sq. ft.

22 Frances Ave., Larkspur; Listed at $795,000; 2 Bed, 2 Full; 1,393 sq. ft.

315 Crown Road, Kentfield; Listed at $1,149,000; 3 Bed, 2 Bath; 1,801 sq. ft.

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