San Francisco home foreclosures pushed up total home sales in December last year, based on data from a San Diego real estate information provider.

Nearly 7,900 newly-built and previously-owned single-family homes and condo units were sold in the 9-county San Francisco Bay Area in December, an increase of 1.6-percent from the 6,889 units sold in December 2008 and the 16th consecutive increase year-over-year.

The sales performance was also the highest for the month of December since December 2006 when 8,372 units were sold. Home sales volume for the month of December ranged from the 2007 sales of 5,065 units and the 2003 sales of 12,349 units and averaged 8,762 units.

The home sales price median in the Bay Area in December was $380,000, a 1.8-percent decrease from $387,000 in November, but a 15.2-percent jump from $330,000 in December 2008. December marked the third consecutive month that the home sales price median gained year-over-year following a 22-month continuous decline. The Bay Area median price reached its lowest level in 2009 in March at $290,000, far below the $665,000 record median reached in the middle months of 2007.

San Francisco home foreclosures contributed substantially to total house sales for December because homes foreclosed within 12 months prior to December accounted for 32.3 percent of all homes resold during the month, a jump from the 31.9-percent share in November, but a decrease from the 48.3-percent share in December 2008. Sales of foreclosed homes reached their peak in February 2009 when 52 percent of total resales were houses foreclosed 12 months prior to their resale.

The San Diego real estate firm also reported that home loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration accounted for 25.6 for all home loans applied for in December, an increase from the 25.1-percent share in November and from the 22.8-percent share in December 2008. FHA loans, the most preferred loans among first time home buyers, comprised only 0.5 percent of all mortgage loans in 2007.

Jumbo home loans, which used to dominate mortgage loans, accounted for 29.8 percent of all loans, substantially down from the 60-percent average share during the boom years.

The percentage of adjustable-rate mortgage loans, which caused a huge portion of San Francisco home foreclosures in the early part of the housing crisis, dropped to only 8 percent in December, substantially down from the 61-percent share during the boom years from 2000 to 2007.

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