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Alameda home sales up

Submitted by on 1, January 29, 2009 – 8:30 amNo Comment

Alameda homes sales and prices in December were up over the previous year, according to a new report from real estate stat-gatherers DataQuick Informaton Systems.

Home sales this past December rose 4.33 percent over sales in December 2007, they said, and the median home price of the 29 homes sold in Alameda that month was $650,000, an increase of $23,000 from a year earlier. Alameda’s home values are second only to Pleasanton’s in Alameda County.

The service attributed a rise in Bay Area sales to bargain hunters purchasing foreclosed properties. It noted that those seeking to purchase higher-price properties were having difficulty getting financed.

The data service also noted what they’re calling a “temporary” drop in foreclosure activity for the final quarter of 2008; here in Alameda County, notices of default – the first step in the foreclosure process – dropped 8.2 percent over the same quarter last year.

But the service did note a 63.8 percent rise in the homes lost to foreclosure, from 1,026 homes in the fourth quarter of 2007 to 1,681 in the same quarter of 2008.

DataQuick president John Walsh was reluctant to speculate on whether the numbers could mean a new wave of foreclosures is in the offing. California’s foreclosure numbers dipped late last year after a new state law requiring lenders to take additional steps to help borrowers stay in their homes took effect, but rose again in December.

“The bigger question is whether or not the housing market has hit a low and is dragging along bottom, or if the markets that so far have remained unaffected by the foreclosure problem are due for a fall. With today’s atypical market trends, it’s impossible to predict,” Walsh said.

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