Soaring single-family home prices in much of the Bay Area are near or above pre-crash peaks -- and topped $1 million in San Francisco for the second month in a row -- according to a report released Wednesday.

The median sale price of single-family homes sold in June in the nine-county Bay Area was only 8.6 percent off a 2007 peak of $675,000, according to the real estate information service DataQuick.

"The Bay Area is leading the way in price recovery and has for a couple years now, because it's seen relatively strong job growth," said Andrew LePage of DataQuick.

But the rise in prices is slowing in much of the Bay Area, and housing sales are well below average. Still, the market remains one of the nation's strongest.

Those high prices are having a domino effect, with homebuyers fleeing San Francisco and the costly Peninsula for the East Bay, where homes closest to the city are fought over in bidding wars.

Kostas Kibouris, his wife Aliki and their two children, ages 7 and 5, recently fled the high rents in Palo Alto for a San Ramon house in the mid-$700,000 price range. They lost three homes to other bidders before landing the three-bedroom home.

"The rents are going up in Silicon Valley and becoming a little bit ridiculous, especially in Palo Alto," said Kostas Kibouris, who works for a tech company in San Francisco. "And I wanted to move out here. I think it's better for the children."


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San Francisco is about 10 percent above the highest price it reached before the crash. Santa Clara County is 4 percent above its previous single-family home peak with a record $842,750, DataQuick reported. San Mateo County's $918,000 was only 0.8 percent from its all-time high, and Alameda County's $650,000 was just 2.9 percent from its all time peak.

Contra Costa was still 25.7 percent below its high, reflecting that the eastern parts of the county that were hardest-hit by the foreclosure crisis still have a long climb back. Antioch and Pittsburg are 42 percent below pre-crash peaks, while tony Lafayette and Walnut Creek were only 9 to 10 percent below their peaks, DataQuick said.

Compared with June 2013, the median sale price last month in Alameda was up 10.2 percent, Contra Costa County 11.2 percent, Santa Clara County 11.2 percent and San Mateo County 12.4 percent. While impressive, these percentage gains are smaller than they were a year ago.

Sales of single-family homes were almost 20 percent below their historical average in the Bay Area in records going back to 1988, DataQuick said. Alameda County sales were down 7 percent from June 2013; Contra Costa County was down 5.5 percent, Santa Clara County was down 6.2 percent, while San Mateo County saw a yearly gain of 1.8 percent.

The number of bidders for desirable homes is dropping in the South Bay, said David Tonna, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors.

"We're not seeing those bajillion offers, but we're still seeing multiple offers," he said. For a home in Willow Glen that sold last week, "instead of getting 10, 15, 20 offers we had three solid offers," he said. The home sold for nearly $50,000 over the list price.

"Right now, we're experiencing the summer blues," said Jan Dyer of Intero Real Estate in San Jose. "People are graduating and taking vacations."

In other areas, inventory was tight and competition was intense.

"The market has kicked into full swing," said Berkeley agent Ruth Frassetto, who covers the East Bay and parts of Contra Costa County. "A significant number of buyers are coming to the East Bay because they're priced out of San Francisco and the Peninsula. In my open houses in El Cerrito, there's a large percentage of? people who are renting in San Francisco and want to buy but can't do it in the city."

Candice Economides, an agent with the Grubb Co. in Berkeley, said a low inventory of homes for sale has created "a crazy, crazy demand and buyers are coming to the conclusion that the way to win is multiple offers with cash. The last seven deals we've done were all cash and fast closes."

A client who was beaten by other bidders on three Berkeley houses was victorious on the fourth attempt with an offer that was all cash, 50 percent over asking price and with no inspection contingency. "They got it, just barely," she said.

Two weeks into July, some real estate agents are reporting increased inventory.

In Contra Costa County, the number of homes for sale is rising, said Kevin Kieffer with Keller Williams in Danville. "I see the increase in inventory representing good opportunity for buyers to be in a not-so-competitive situation," he said.

In the Pleasanton-San Ramon area, more homes are being offered for sale with some price reductions, said Jennifer Branchini, president of the Bay East Association of Realtors. "Sellers may be a little over-zealous in their pricing and buyers not so over-zealous in their willingness to pay those prices," she said.

In the Brentwood-Clayton area, "it's kind of leveling off price-wise," said Lynne French of Lynne French and Associates. "It's not that they are going down, although some are edging down a little bit, but they definitely leveling off. I think buyers are deciding to hang it up because it's not affordable any more."

Contact Pete Carey at 408-920-5419. Follow him at Twitter.com/petecarey.