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San Francisco Bay Area Home Prices Climb to 22-Month High

Home prices in the San Francisco Bay Area rose to a 22-month high in May as more expensive properties made up a greater portion of sales, DataQuick said.

The median price for houses and condominiums in the nine-county Bay Area increased to $400,000, up 2.6 percent from April and 7.5 percent from May 2011, the San Diego-based data seller said today in a statement. Almost 39 percent of purchases exceeded $500,000, the most since August 2010.

“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,” DataQuick President John Walsh said in the statement. “Foreclosures are a significantly smaller portion of what’s selling, and the higher-cost coastal markets are seeing more activity.”

Total sales in the Bay Area rose to 8,810, up 15 percent from the previous month and 26 percent from May 2011. It was the highest tally for the month since 2006. Foreclosure sales accounted for 22 percent of the total, down from almost 27 percent a year earlier and the lowest since January 2008.

Prices in both San Francisco and Santa Clara counties rose 6.2 percent, to a median $701,000 and $529,000, respectively. The biggest increase was in Contra Costa County, where the median gained 16 percent to $295,000. The Marin County median price fell 2 percent to $627,000, according to DataQuick.

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