Home sales up in May, but prices soften further

Correction: A headline on an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated how much home sales increased in May. The number of homes sold last month in SLO County was up 5.6 percent over April.

Home sales rose while the median price of houses fell in San Luis Obispo County in May compared with a year ago, according to the most recent figures from DataQuick, a Southern California-based real estate information firm.

Sales of all homes — new and resale single-family detached houses and condominiums — rose 3.7 percent in May from the same month a year ago.

A total of 281 homes were sold last month, up from 271 in May 2010. That’s up 5.6 percent from April 2011, when 266 homes were sold in the county, DataQuick reported.

Meanwhile, the all-home median sales price fell 2.9 percent from May 2010. The median price last month was $349,500, down from $360,000 the previous year. The median also fell about 2.2 percent from April 2011, when it was $357,500.

The median is the statistical point at which half of the houses sell for more and half for less.

Though the volume of new homes sold continues to lag behind the other categories, new homes saw the greatest percentage sales increase in May — rising 25 percent over the year before.

A total of 25 new homes were sold countywide in May, compared with 20 a year ago. That’s also a 127-percent increase over the 11 new homes sold in April 2011.

The median price of new houses in the county was $355,000 last month, a 9-percent fall from May 2010, when the median was $390,000. The May median for new houses fell nearly 35 percent from April, when it was $546,000.

Both sales and the median price fell for resale condos in May from the year-earlier period. A total of 35 condos sold last month, down 10.3 percent from 39 in May 2010. It was an 84 percent increase from April, when 19 condos sold.

The median price of condos fell in May to $208,500, a 27.1 percent drop from May 2010, when the median price was $286,000. The May median price also fell from April, when it was $225,000, a 7.3 percent drop.

Sales of resale detached homes rose 4.2 percent to 221 in May from 212 a year earlier. Sales were down 6.4 percent from April, when 236 homes were sold in the county.

The median price of resale detached houses dropped to $369,000 from $370,000, down 0.3 percent from both the previous May and April 2011, when the median price was also $370,000.