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North County Realtor sees improvements in Fallbrook, Bonsall

Some signs of an improving real estate market were evident during April in the North San Diego County communities of Fallbrook and Bonsall, Jerry Kalman of Prudential California Realty said Thursday.

"The time a home remained on the market before entering escrow dropped and the average selling price per square foot increased in April while the number of homes put in escrow rose over the number recorded in March. All represented positive signs for local homeowners," said Kalman.

The April selling price of 52 homes that closed escrow was $704,105 or $314 per square foot, according to Kalman. On May 1, 80 homes were in escrow with an average asking price of $714,187, or $310 per average square foot. During the month, 48 were put in escrow at an average asking price of $751,151, also $314 per average square foot.

In the month, 124 new listings came on the market, and the average price was $842,588, or $356 per average square foot. Five of the homes placed in escrow were among those listed in April.

"The inventory of active listings on May 1 increased to 389 homes on the market, however, the average listing price declined slightly to $923,461, or $346 per square foot," Kalman said. He added that 28 percent of the available inventory was priced at or above $1 million and the remainder was evenly distributed in the other brackets.

Three condos closed escrow in April with an average selling price of $358,333 and the average price per square foot was $252. The average price of the 35 condos still on the market dropped to $359,751. More than half of the inventory is in Bonsall, the remainder in Fallbrook.

"April activity improved along with the weather, however, high gas prices and increases in interest rates continued to weigh down activity in the period," he said. "The average time on the market for those that sold rose dropped to 83 days, two weeks longer than the average time for the past 12 months. On another positive note, the active inventory market time declined to an average of 75 days and those that were placed in escrow by May 1 averaged 76 days on the market, improvements over March."

"Fallbrook and Bonsall, where lot sizes and homes tend to be larger than in other North County areas, are competitively priced versus neighboring communities," he continued. "Homes that closed escrow here in April cost less per square foot than the $325 in Carlsbad and $322 in Oceanside; but were more than the $293 in Escondido, $300 in Vista and $299 in San Marcos."

Prices of homes that sold last month were five percent higher than in April 2005, he said. Through the first four months of 2006, homes were selling at an average of $699,646, an eight percent increase over the same period of 2005 when the average selling price was $648,586.

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