From: JK DataQuick [jkarev@dataquick.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 9:17 AM
To: alepage@dqnews.com
Subject: DataQuick: April Bay Area Home Sales
     For immediate release
 
     Business editors/real estate writers
 
     Bay Area home sales edge up in April
 
     La Jolla, CA ----Bay Area home sales edged up from a seven-month run of
record lows last month, indicating that mortgage availability is improving
and that an increasing number of fence sitters have decided they like
today's lower prices, a real estate information service reported.
     A total of 6,310 new and resale houses and condos sold in the nine-
county Bay Area in April. That was up 28.8 percent from 4,898 in March, and
down 15.3 percent from 7,447 for April 2007, DataQuick Information Systems
reported.
     The month-to-month jump was the strongest for any March/April in
DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. Starting last September and
through March, each calendar month was the slowest on record. Last month was
the slowest April since 1995 when 5,636 homes were sold.
     "The big issue here is that mortgages are becoming obtainable, which
will reduce the pile of stacked up pending escrows. It's unclear if the
financing is because of policy changes or because mortgage investors are
getting more interested in securities. Probably both," said Marshall
Prentice, DataQuick president.
     The median price paid for a Bay Area home was $518,000 last month, down
3.4 percent from $536,000 in March, and down 21.4 percent from $659,000 in
April last year. Last month's median was 22.1 percent lower than the peak
median of $665,000 reached in June and July last year.
     Last month's median price would have been closer to $578,000 if the
availability of jumbo home loans had remained stable. A year ago jumbo
loans, mortgages above $417,000, accounted for 63.4 percent of all Bay Area
home loans. Last month they were 28.8 percent, DataQuick reported.
    Foreclosure property resales accounted for 25.7 percent of last month's
Bay Area market. The percentage is higher in outlying areas that absorbed
spillover activity during the frenzy. While foreclosure properties were 5.9
percent of San Francisco's resale market and 8.9 percent of Marin's resale
market last month, they were 44.7 percent in Contra Costa and 54.2 percent
in Solano.
    DataQuick, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and
Associates, monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides
information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending
institutions, title companies and industry analysts. Due to late data
availability, the April statistics for Alameda County were extrapolated from
the first three weeks of the month.
     The typical monthly mortgage payment that Bay Area buyers committed
themselves to paying was $2,309 last month, down from $2,405 the previous
month, and down from $3,074 a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, current
payments are 9.5 percent below typical payments in the spring of 1989, the
peak of the prior real estate cycle. They are 31.9 percent below the current
cycle's peak in June 2006.
     Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions.
Foreclosure activity is at record levels, financing with adjustable-rate
mortgages is at a six-year low. Down payment sizes and flipping rates are
stable, non-owner occupied buying activity is increasing, DataQuick
reported.
 
(chart)
 
All homes        Apr-07   Apr-08     %Chng      Apr-07     Apr-08    %Chng
                                                                        
Alameda           1,555    1,240   -20.3%     $586,500   $473,750   -19.2%
Contra Costa      1,246    1,265     1.5%     $600,000   $395,000   -34.2%
Marin               313      216   -31.0%     $925,000   $800,000   -13.5%
Napa                109      100    -8.3%     $563,000   $499,000   -11.4%
Santa Clara       2,009    1,440   -28.3%     $709,000   $615,000   -13.3%
San Francisco       568      605     6.5%     $790,000   $750,000    -5.1%
San Mateo           681      573   -15.9%     $810,000   $672,500   -17.0%
Solano              440      429    -2.5%     $428,000   $319,500   -25.4%
Sonoma              526      442   -16.0%     $519,000   $414,250   -20.2%
Bay Area          7,447    6,310   -15.3%     $659,000   $518,000   -21.4%
 
Source: DataQuick Information Systems, DQNews.com
 
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Media calls: John Karevoll (909) 867-9534 or Andrew LePage (916)456-7157