Median home prices increased again in May continuing the modest recovery that began in January, according to MDA DataQuick of La Jolla.
Median prices of all homes and condos increased $5,000 in May , and $15,000 since January , to $295,000 countywide.
Most of May’s gains were reflected in higher valued condo sales, which increased from $182,000 in April to $199,000 last month. Prices of existing homes stayed flat on the month at $325,000, and prices on new homes and condos increased from $438,000 to $476,000.
Yet median prices are still 22.6 percent below May 2008 levels.
The number of homes sold decreased, indicating fewer of those fire sale bargains. The number of all homes and condos sold fell from 3,375 in April to 3,242 in May. The number of new homes and condos sold actually increased from 181 to 200.
DataQuick analysts suggested that home prices may have bottomed out, but caution that price depreciation may be hitting more affluent neighborhoods because of mortgage defaults and impatient owners of higher-end homes who need to sell in the current market.
The percentage of homes sold at prices greater than $500,000 increased from 18.8 percent in March to 20.5 percent in April to 23.1 percent in May.
Foreclosures overall declined in May, accounting for 43.1 percent of all resales, compared with 47.3 percent in April and 51.1 percent in March.
However, many analysts say the drop in foreclosures may be temporary as banks attempt to modify loans and interest rates increase. Complicating matters is a temporary moratorium on foreclosures that took effect June 15.
, Ned Randolph