Home sales go up in county

Both the total number of homes sold in San Luis Obispo County and the median price of a home rose this August compared with the same month last year.

Home sales overall grew 7.5 percent year over year to 329, according to the Southern California-based firm DataQuick, an independent real estate tracker. It marked the seventh consecutive month in which more homes were sold than for the same months of 2011.

In another upward trend, seven of the past nine months have seen home prices grow year over year, following a long period of mostly year-over-year price declines. This August marks the fourth consecutive month that the median price grew year over year.

Also in August, the median price for all homes grew 5.9 percent from the same month in 2011, rising to $360,000. In August 2011, prices had fallen 10.5 percent to $340,000, down from $380,000 in August 2010.

The median is the midpoint of home prices, where half of the residences sold for more and half for less. DataQuick recorded a peak median of $585,000 in June 2006.

Monthly residential real estate figures are compared with the same month from the prior year because of the highly seasonal nature of home sales.

Nearly 87 percent of the homes sold in August 2012 were resale single-family homes, although DataQuick also tracks sales of condos and new homes.

Resales of single-family homes grew 13.1 percent year over year to 285. The median price grew 1.4 percent to $365,000 from $360,000 in August 2011.

This August, sales of new homes fell 47.1 percent to nine homes, compared with 17 the year before. The median price for new homes in August, at $443,750, was 49.9 percent higher than the year before.

Condo sales fell 5.4 percent year over year to 35 units in August, and the price grew 10.9 percent to $289,000. However, the new homes and condos percentages are subject to large swings because their sales numbers are so small.