Biz Buzz: Recession lingers for county home sales, figures show

Home sales and the median price of homes in San Luis Obispo County fell in the final month of 2009 as Central Coast real estate continued to be impacted by the housing market collapse.

Sales of all homes — including new and resale, detached homes and condominiums — declined nearly 5 percent in December with 231 homes sold, compared to 243 sold in the same month a year ago.

In December, the median price dropped 2.5 percent to $390,000, down from $400,000 recorded in the same month in 2008, according to the latest figures from DataQuick, a Southern California-based firm that tracks real estate information.

New home sales dipped 15.6 percent in December with 27 sold, compared to 32 sold in December 2008. The median price of new homes, however, stood at $556,600, a 7.2 percent increase from the same month a year ago, when the median for new homes was $519,000.

While still sluggish, sales of existing single-family homes fared better in December, increasing 1.1 percent from the same month a year ago.

In December, 187 resale detached homes were sold, up from 185 in December 2008.

The median price of resale detached homes dropped to $400,000 in December, a 1.1 percent decline from December 2008, when the median was $405,000.

Condominium sales, meanwhile, fell nearly 35 percent in December 2009 from the same month the previous year. A total of 17 were sold, compared to 26 in December 2008.

The median price of condos dropped as well. In December, DataQuick recorded a median price of $232,000, a 10.3 percent decline from $258,500 posted in the same month a year ago.

— Julie Lynem

Donor gives $500K to hospital foundation

The French Hospital Medical Center Foundation has established the Cardiac Care Endowment Fund with a gift of $500,000 from an anonymous donor. The endowment fund will provide new technology, equipment maintenance and supplies to the San Luis Obispo hospital’s Copeland, Forbes & Rossi Cardiac Care Center.

French Hospital Medical Center has 521 employees and more than 330 physicians on staff. It is a member of Catholic Healthcare West, the largest Catholic health-care system based in the western United States, with 42 hospitals and two medical practice groups in California, Arizona and Nevada.

“The establishment of this endowment will leave a lasting legacy of caring for our cardiac patients,” said Alan Iftiniuk, French’s president and chief executive officer. “We are forever grateful for the enormous generosity of this donor and for the ongoing support of French Hospital by our community.”

For more information on the endowment, or to contribute to it, please contact the FHMC Foundation Office at 542-6496 or visit

— Melanie Cleveland