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Foreclosure sales drop to lowest level in 5 years

  • 10/19/2011: A1:
    PC: A foreclosed home on Comanche Street in Santa Rosa, Tuesday Oct. 18, 2011. A 21 percent jump in default notices was reported for third quarter of the calendar year for Sonoma County. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2011

For the first time since housing prices crashed, the rate of distressed home sales in Sonoma County has fallen to single digits.

Just 9 percent of the single-family homes sold in October were foreclosures or short sales, according to The Press Democrat's monthly housing report compiled by Pacific Union International Vice President Rick Laws. A year ago, such properties made up 29 percent of county sales.

Overall, buyers purchased 430 single-family homes last month, a decrease of 13.5 percent from a year earlier.

The median price rose to $466,750 in October, an increase of 3.7 percent from September and 27.2 percent from a year earlier.

Home prices peaked in Sonoma County in August 2005, when the median hit a record $619,000. But prices began a steady slide in the last half of 2007, followed by large numbers of owners who were upside down on their mortgages and either unable or unwilling to make further payments.

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