The Atherton real estate market, a portion of the larger Bay Area housing market, showed strong signs of recovery in the most recent tracking period. A number of reports, including analyses of median price and sales, all pointed towards strong growth. However, the possibility remains that the numbers may have been the product of the federal tax credit program. According to a June 17, 2010 article from the Los Angeles Times, “Fueled by federal tax credits and low interest rates, Bay Area sales took off in some of the region’s costlier neighborhoods last month, helping push the median home price there above $400,000 for the first time since the U.S. was gripped by the financial crisis 21 months ago. First-time buyers found fewer foreclosed homes for sale in the region last month, the San Diego real estate research firm MDA DataQuick said Thursday. The decline in bank-owned inventory helped the median sales price for all property types in the region hit $410,000, up 10.8% from April and 20.1% from May 2009, A total of 8,264 homes sold last month, an 18% jump from April and an increase of 11% from May 2009, DataQuick said. The surge in sales is probably due to buyers rushing to seal deals before a June 30 deadline to qualify for a federal tax incentive.”

An increasingly large number of high-end Atherton homes for sale were purchased in the month of May, reversing a year-ago trend that had low-end homes dominating the market. This shift also raises the possibility that the apparent recovery is not solely the product of the federal tax credit. According to a June 17, 2010 report from Business Week, “San Francisco Bay Area home prices jumped 20 percent in May, sending the median above $400,000 for the first time in almost two years, as high-end sales returned to a “more normal” share of transactions, MDA DataQuick said. The median price for houses and condominiums in the nine- county region increased to $410,000 from $341,500 a year earlier, the San Diego-based research company said today in a statement. Sales rose 11 percent to 8,264 homes.”