Home sales surge as prices slip

A second straight month of surging home sales in San Luis Obispo County during August continued a break in the downward trend of year-over-year growth of earlier this year, according to figures from San Diego-based real-estate tracking firm DataQuick.

This took place as the median home sales price posted its third straight double-digit drop from 2010 figures. That continues a home sale price decline that started in January, broken only by an increase of less than a percent year-over-year in April.

Home sales overall grew 43 percent locally in August compared with the same month a year ago, according to DataQuick. There were 306 homes sold countywide last month, 92 more than in August 2010.

Meanwhile, the median overall home sales price in San Luis Obispo County fell 10.5 percent year-over-year to $340,000.

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

Median prices have now recorded a three-month upward climb toward smaller year-over-year declines since June’s trough, which was the highest drop in median prices so far this year.

With the largest share of the local real estate market, resales of detached single-family homes continued to boost overall sales numbers. Those sales grew 37 percent year-over-year in August, with 68 more home sales than the same month of 2010, DataQuick reported.

That second month of double-digit growth in home resales has broken the category out of a zig-zag in year-over-year increases so far for 2011.

The median price of local home resales fell 5.3 percent year-over-year in August to $360,000 from $380,000 a year ago, according to DataQuick.

Condo sales also grew in August, with 37 selling countywide compared with 20 in the same month of 2010 — an 85 percent surge.

Sales of new homes also grew, with 17 sold last month compared with 10 in August 2010 — a 70 percent climb.Countywide condo and new-home sale figures are subject to larger percentage swings because of their relatively smaller numbers in the local market.