State

Valley house prices slow to step up

Holding steady. That's about the best that can be said about home prices in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

While the housing recovery seems well under way elsewhere in California, Stanislaus County's median sales price has been stuck near $140,000 since May. That's what it was again in November, according to sales statistics released this week from MDA DataQuick.

In November 2008, by comparison, Stanislaus homes sold for a median $160,000 — meaning prices have dropped 12.5 percent in a year. The county's year-over-year decline is among the highest in California.

Statewide, November's median price was $261,000, up 1.2 percent from a year ago. Bay Area prices last month hit $387,000, up 10.6 percent over the previous year.

Even Merced County seems on the mend. Its median price was $120,000 last month, up $5,000 from October and just 4 percent less than November 2008.

San Joaquin County prices dipped to $165,000 last month, which was $2,500 less than October and 5.2 percent below November 2008.

Sales volume was down throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley, unlike elsewhere in California.

In Stanislaus, sales of new and used homes and condos were 13.8 percent lower this November compared with November 2008. Statewide, by contrast, year-over-year sales were up 11.5 percent.

Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti can be reached at jsbranti@modbee.com or 578-2196.

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