Bay Area home prices cool off just a bit

A plateau? Bay Area home prices are lowest they've been since March

Maybe, just maybe, there are limits to what people will pay to live near San Francisco Bay.

Red-hot home prices in the Bay Area are showing signs of pleateauing, according to new figures out Thursday. The median price of a house in the nine-county region ticked down a bit in October to $601,000, its lowest level since March, according to CoreLogic DataQuick. The number of sales grew slightly.

"After hitting what many view as a stratospheric level, Bay Area home prices have shown signs of leveling off," said Andrew LePage, data analyst for the San Diego-based real estate firm. "To some extent, it's the result of sticker shock and a modest pickup in inventory."

Prices are still rising on an annual basis, up 11.3% compared with October of last year. But even that year-over-year growth has cooled. Still, LePage said, the Bay Area's strong job and income growth should continue to drive the market upward into next year.

"It's easy to imagine demand and price pressures building again," he said.

Statewide, sales climbed 1% last month compared with October of last year, to 36,468, the highest for the month in two years. Prices rose 7% from a year earlier to $382,000, making October the 32nd consecutive month of year-over-year price growth in California.

Keep an eye on housing and real estate in Southern California. Follow me on Twitter at @bytimlogan

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