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Home sales in Bay Area up 2.8% over January, but still less than year ago

'Market remains fundamentally off kilter,' analyst says

Despite a modest rise last month, Bay Area home sales continue to stagnate, according to the latest figures released today by San Diego-based real estate analysts MDA DataQuick.

The report said 4,987 new and resale homes were sold in the nine-county Bay Area in February, up 2.8 percent from January but down 0.9 percent from the same time last year.

Since DataQuick began recording statistics in 1988, the average number of Bay Area home sales in February is 6,413. This February's numbers were the second-lowest for the month since 1995.

DataQuick said some buyers are worried about job security, while others can't get financing or have found only a small inventory of homes for sale.

"The market remains fundamentally off kilter," MDA DataQuick President John Walsh said in a prepared statement.

"Despite the widening stability seen in the housing market in recent months, the outlook remains murky," Walsh said. He cited uncertainty about the housing market's response to government reduction of the housing stimulus, the sagging economy, and whether more foreclosures are on the way.

The median price for sold homes in the Bay Area in February was $354,000, up 1.1. percent from January and up 20 percent from the same time last year. San Francisco had the highest median sale price in the Bay Area at $627,500; Solano County had the lowest, at $208,500.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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