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Regional Spotlight: San Joaquin Home Sales Dip to Lowest Level in Decade

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RISMEDIA, March 20, 2007-(MCT)-Sales of existing homes continued to slip in San Joaquin County, falling to 251 last month from 270 in January, the lowest sales level since the past decade.

The median sales price jumped, though, to $395,000 in February from $376,000 the previous month, according to figures from the latest Coldwell Banker Grupe-TrendGraphix monthly sales report, based on Multiple Listing Service data.

That's a trend seen statewide as well. The real-estate research firm DataQuick Information Systems, La Jolla, reported this week that California home sales fell last month to the lowest level for February in the past decade.

Likewise, the state's median home sales price in February hit $472,000, up 2.2% from $462,000 the previous month.

Year-to-year the median sales price in San Joaquin County has slipped by only $2,000 from $397,000 in February 2006. Still, last month's median of $395,000 is down 7% from a high of $425,000 in December 2005.

Prices generally have eased since late 2005 after five years of a super-hot market in which sales prices escalated between 25% and 40% annually.

Bruce Davies, co-owner of Partners Real Estate in Stockton, specializes in more-expensive homes, and he said that although the overall market has been slow, high-end properties have continued to sell.

"Baby boomers are buying what they want, and the lower end, where you have the 100 percent financing, is slowing down," he said. "They are more afraid because the house could still go down in value. So they're not stupid. If I were a lower-end buyer, I wouldn't buy right now."

Pending sales were up, according to the TrendGraphix report, from 374 in January to 438 last month.

Copyright © 2007, The Record, Stockton, Calif.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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