In the Bay Area, 5,032 homes were sold in February, which unlike 2008 was essentially unchanged from January but still up 26.1% from one year ago.

The median price fell in the Bay Area to $295,000, dipping below $300,000 for the first time since 1999 mostly due to sluggish high-end property sales (no jumbo loans = no sales). With foreclosures making up a wide range of the sales in February, from only 12.1% of the resales in San Francisco County up to 69.5% in Solano County, the buyers’ preference for discounted, low-end value properties is evident. Speculators and investors are also driving the sales, but there is a base of single family residence users acquiring homes.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that a Bay Area homebuyer committed himself to pay in February was $1,286, down from $1,297 in January and down from $2,606 one year ago.

first tuesday take: Last year’s bounce in sales has not yet been repeated yet this year with February moving nowhere, but it was a short month compared to leap-year last. [See “Home sales volume and price peaks” from our March 2009 issue]

Re: “Bay Area home sales climb above last year as median falls below $300K” from MDA DataQuick