SLO County home sales growth slows, but median inches toward positive

Though home sales continued to grow in San Luis Obispo County, their summertime upward trend slowed during September, according to figures from San Diego-based real estate tracking firm DataQuick.

Meanwhile, the local median home price fell again compared to the same month last year, but continued a four-month upward trend toward year-over-year growth.

Home sales overall grew 17.5 percent in September compared to the same month of 2010, according to DataQuick. During September, 282 residences sold compared to 240 in the same month of last year.

That makes the third straight month local sales have posted double-digit year-over-year growth.

The last time that happened was during the first quarter of this year, though that short-term growth spurt was not as strong as the third-quarter surge.

Overall local home sales grew 43 percent year over year in August and 34.7 percent in June, according to DataQuick.

The median home price in September fell 9.5 percent to $326,000. A year before, it was $360,100. The median is the statistical midpoint of home prices, where half sold for more and half for less.

That’s the closest the median has been to growth since April’s 0.7 percent year-over-year increase, which was the only month it has had growth during 2011.

But the monthly declines in median prices have narrowed gradually since June’s 16.8 year-over-year drop — the steepest fall so far for 2011 — according to DataQuick figures.

DataQuick recorded a local peak median of $585,000 in June 2006. Since then, it has fallen more than 44 percent.

Resales of detached single-family homes — the largest segment of the local residential real estate market — grew 13 percent in September from the same month in 2010. Compared to the 208 home resales countywide in September 2010, 235 resales were reported last month.

Meanwhile, the median sale price of resale single-family homes continued its year-to-date decline, falling 2.7 percent to $360,000 from the $370,000 posted a year ago.

Condo resales grew 38.5 percent in September, with 36 selling countywide compared to 26 the year before. The median condo price fell 19.1 percent last month to $210,000 from $259,000 in September 2010.

With 11 sales in September compared to six during the same month of 2010, new-home sales grew 88.3 percent, according to DataQuick. The median price of new homes plunged 46.3 percent to $287,000 in September versus $534,000 the year before.

Sales of condos and new homes are subject to larger monthly swings because they are much smaller segments of the local residential real estate market.