San Francisco real estate was among the strongest in the nation before the arrival of the sub prime mortgage crisis and the subsequent nationwide economic downturn. Home sales were extremely high, foreclosures and defaults were both definitely exceptions to the rule, and all signs pointed towards continued strength and vitality. After the bursting of the real estate bubble, the San Francisco real estate market began reeling from a series of blows - dramatically higher rates of foreclosure, even higher numbers of defaults, and precipitously plunging home sales and sale prices. At the present time, it is difficult to predict which direction the San Francisco real estate market is going to take, as the available signs are somewhat contradictory and inconsistent. Some indications are that a rally in the Bay Area has begun in some form, as seems to be indicated by a July 16, 2009 article in Bloomberg. “San Francisco Bay Area house and condominium sales rose 20 percent in June from a year earlier to the highest in almost three years, MDA DataQuick said.” The figures indicated that a grant total of 8,644 houses were sold in the Bay Area, although the median price of those properties dropped by a whopping 27 percent as opposed to June of 2008. According to MDA DataQuick President John Walsh, “We're just now seeing the beginnings of more normal mortgage lending patterns. There's still a long way to go, but it looks like the worst of the grind is over.” A July 17, 2009 article in the Los Angeles Times echoed the same findings, stating that “As in Southern California, the rising Bay Area median reflects the changing mix of homes sold. The market is being driven less by low-priced foreclosures, and higher-end sellers are coming down in price, which is attracting buyers. So the median rises because of sales of more expensive homes, but those homes are moving because they are dropping in price.”On the other hand, the San Francisco Business Times reported on July 23, 2009 that defaults in the Bay Area reached their highest level in history, showing increased weakness in that sector.