SLO County home sales break downward trend in July; median price continues to decline

A July surge of home sales in San Luis Obispo County has broken a downward trend in year-over-year growth that started in February, according to figures from San Diego-based real-estate tracking firm DataQuick.

Meanwhile, the local median home sales price continued a decline that started in January, interrupted by only a scant year-over-year increase in April.

Overall home sales grew 34.7 percent locally in July compared to the same month a year ago, according to DataQuick, with 83 more homes selling countywide than the 239 sold in July 2010.

The median overall home sales price in San Luis Obispo County dropped 13.2 percent year-over-year to $330,000.

The median is the midpoint of home prices, where half of the homes sold for more and half for less than that.

DataQuick recorded a peak median of $585,000 in June 2006. The median local home price has plunged more than 44 percent since that high.

Resales of detached single-family homes accounted for about 85 percent of the local real estate market in July, as well as most of the growth.

Single-family home resales grew 32.8 percent in July from the same month a year before, with 67 more selling last month compared to the 204 sold in July 2010, according to DataQuick.

That’s more than three times the 9.7 percent year-over-year jump posted in that category for June and almost eight times the 4.2 percent growth reported in May.

And while July’s growth outpaced the 24.2 percent growth in single-family home sales DataQuick recorded in April of this year, a 47.2 percent drop in condo sales that month offset the gain, contributing to this year’s downward trend in overall home sales.

But a surge in condo sales — 40 in July versus 23 in the same month of 2010, a 73.9 percent jump — helped push last month’s overall figure, too.

Local condo and new-home sale figures are subject to larger percentage swings because of their relatively much smaller numbers.

New homes — still the smallest category in the local real-estate market — posted just 11 sales in July versus 12 the same month a year ago, an 8.3 percent drop.