Bay Area home sales decline 15%

From Bloomberg News

Bay Area home sales fell 15% in April from a year earlier and prices declined as lenders made it harder to obtain mortgages, cutting the number of potential buyers.

A total of 6,310 new and existing homes and condominiums sold in San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara and five other counties last month, the lowest for an April since 1995, according to DataQuick Information Systems. The median price dropped 21% to $518,000.

Reduced availability of mortgages over $417,000, known as jumbo loans, is keeping sales and prices lower. The Bay Area median would have been about $578,000 if jumbo loans were more obtainable, San Diego-based DataQuick said. Home purchases made with jumbos accounted for 29% of sales last month, less than half of the number a year earlier.

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