San Diego home price starts year at $529K

The San Diego County median home price was $529,000 in January, down by $11,000 since December, said real estate tracker CoreLogic on Tuesday. The big picture: In a year, the median price increased 6.9 percent. San Diego County’s median home price hit an all-time high in June of $545,000. While January’s median is not far from the record, it might take a while to return to that level. How prices could change: Rising interest rates and other factors could slow the pace of home price increases in the coming year, some experts say. “The price is already pretty high and now you put higher interests rates on top of that,” said Alan Gin, economist at University of San Diego. “That’s going put home purchases out of reach for some people.” The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.52 percent Tuesday, up from around 4 percent at the end of last year, said Mortgage News Daily. Mark Goldman, a real estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said he expected median price increases to slow as the market comes down from last year’s highs. “The market is slowing down, in general,” Goldman said. “Prices are topping out and I don’t see a reversal. (Prices last year) were increasing at a very aggressive rate.” What the market was doing: The median for a newly built home was $646,000 in January with 249 sales. Resale homes dominated the market, making up 1,588 sales. The median price was $565,000, its lowest since March. Meanwhile, the median condo price was $410,000, its highest since January with 785 sales. Listed homes for sale showed a decline from January 2017, said the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. There were 4,241 homes for sale in January, down from 4,463 at the same time last year, 5,012 in 2016 and 6,129 in 2015. The average number of days on market in January was 29, the Realtor association said. The quickest homes to sell were those priced from $250,001 to $500,000, selling on Continue Reading

Why federal tax plan won’t hurt San Diego housing market

There are a number of economists and real estate professionals who believe the new federal tax plan may adversely impact the San Diego housing market, but there is not much evidence to support that theory. In fact, some predict just the opposite and anticipate another increase in property values in 2018. The reality is that home buyers who remained on the fence last year, waiting for the real estate market to crash as it did in 2008, may have been priced out of the market as home prices in San Diego steadily increased in 2017. San Diego home values have gone up 9 percent over the past year, and forecasters predict home prices in San Diego will raise an additional 4 percent within the next year. Reluctant buyers may also think the new federal tax plan will adversely affect home prices — but with limited inventory and high demand, the federal tax plan will have a minimal impact on property values in San Diego, if any at all. Related: How new tax law impacts low-income housing If the federal tax plan causes our economy to do better, interest rates should start to notch up because interest rates generally rise when the economy is doing well — but the increase in the interest rate should not affect the San Diego real estate market or the overall California real estate market. There is a belief that home prices are correlated to interest rates, and that if mortgage rates raise then homes values must drop, making homes more affordable. But that is just not the case. If interest rates were to go up, it should not deter prospective buyers from purchasing a home, especially in San Diego where demand is high and inventory is low. The federal tax plan was designed to increase incomes, and, as incomes increase, home buyers can afford more and are normally willing to take out larger mortgages. You may have heard that the mortgage interest deduction was going away under the new tax rules, but that simply isn’t true. You can continue to deduct your mortgage Continue Reading

The last frontier of homeownership?

There comes a time for most San Diego couples when they get sick of renting and, for the Whites, it came around the 40th birthday mark.Shawna White, 40, spent countless hours researching a place she and her husband Nathan, 39, could afford that wouldn’t break the bank. In addition to getting away from the region’s explosive rent hikes, they saw a home as an investment.Eventually, the Navy couple landed in Otay Ranch on the eastern fringes of the county near the border with Mexico. They bought a new 1,504-square-foot townhouse for $378,000, around $200,000 less than what something similar would have cost them closer to downtown.“We were able to buy something new instead of an older home with issues,” she said. “This was a good buy.”More and more new homeowners are being drawn to Otay Ranch, the largest residential development in San Diego County history at 25,000 acres. After being hit hard in the housing crisis, it has reemerged as a viable option for homeownership in a county where historic low inventory has driven prices to new peaks.The median home price for a newly built home or condo in the county was $787,000 in June, at least $250,000 more than what a new place in the ranch goes for. Real estate tracker CoreLogic said the median for a resale single-family home was $595,000 in June, meaning you could get a new house in Otay Ranch for less than an old one in some cases.View a map of the development »There are reasons why some potential buyers might not like Otay Ranch — proximity to the border and three jails, commute time and higher taxes in some cases. But, the numbers show it isn’t stopping buyers.“It’s the next to last place where they can build moderate priced housing,” said Alan Nevin, industry analyst at Xpera Group. “The big action for single-family (homes), townhouses and apartments is Otay Ranch.”As of the first six months of this year, single-family homes in the ZIP Continue Reading

San Diego median home price hits $515,000 in March — highest point in a decade

The San Diego County median home price reached $515,000 in March, its highest point in a decade and a 7.7 percent increase in a year, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported Tuesday. The median price had been below half a million dollars since October last year, which had some analysts surmising costs had hit an affordability wall. But, the March numbers show some buyers are willing to go higher to get homes. While the new price might seem historically high, it is still below the nominal 2005 peak of $517,500, the equivalent of $644,487 in 2016 dollars after adjusting for inflation. Analysts say a lack of available homes for sale is probably the biggest factor in March’s numbers, but there are other reasons, too. “Home prices are going up faster than household incomes,” said Mark Goldman, finance and real estate lecturer at San Diego State University. “However, there is a shortage of units on the market. You have a lot of buyers chasing very few properties.” There were 4,369 active home listings in San Diego County in March, said the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. That’s the fifth lowest month in its records going back to 2009, a far cry from the more than 13,000 listings in fall 2010. Also helping buyers are historically low interest rates and job growth, said Alan Gin, economist at University of San Diego. At the same time, he said buyers could be eager to get into the market before higher mortgage loan rates hit or just want to get out the rental game. “We’re getting to the point where the gap between rent and the average mortgage rate is narrowing,” Gin said. There are some signs that rent growth is slowing at the same time home prices are rising, possibly a sign that renters are becoming motivated to buy. From September to March, average rent increased just $5 to $1,748 a month. However, that is still an 8 percent rise over 12 months. In the grand scheme of things, a monthly mortgage rate Continue Reading

Got $529,750 for a San Diego house?

The San Diego County median home price was $529,750 in October, a steady decrease from its peak this summer, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported Wednesday. An all-time peak of $545,000 was reached in June. The median home price has increased 4.4 percent in a year as of October. It is the lowest yearly gain since June 2016, but could just mean more sales at the lower end or a slight cooling of the market after a busy summer buying season. Mark Goldman, finance and real estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said it’s clear the market slowed, but was not a reason to panic. “I’m seeing a few examples of agents that are a bit surprised in some sub-markets that homes are not selling as quickly or at as high a price as they expected,” he said. “But, San Diego is still one of the most robust markets in the country.” The average time on market in October was 30 days, said the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, down from 34 days at the same time last year. Homes between $250,001 to $500,000 sold the quickest of any category, in an average 25 days (down from 30 days last year). Homes that sold for $1.25 million and above were the only category of homes to have more time on market -- at an average 61 days, up from 58 days last year. Sales and inventory numbers appear to be on a collision course in San Diego and most markets in California. The number of homes for sale keeps decreasing, but demand is not slowing down. There were 5,436 homes listed for sale in October, down from 6,211 listings at the same time last year, 6,964 in 2015, and 8,295 in 2014. Meanwhile, sales are not noticeably different. There were 3,587 home sales in October, 3,597 last year at the same time, 3,356 in 2015 and 3,350 in 2014. Prices for most types of housing were up year over year: Median resale home price: $580,000, 2,237 sales. The home price has increased 5.6 percent in a year. Resale condo price: $408,000, 1,100 sales. The price has Continue Reading

San Diego median home price ends year in record territory

The San Diego County median home price finished the year at one of its highest points. The county median home price increased 9.1 percent in a year. December’s median price of $540,000 was the second-highest of the year, tied with November Nearly 500 new homes sold in December, the most in one month all year. San Diego County home price. Here’s the full story The San Diego County median home price was $540,000 in December, tied for second-highest of the year, capping off a year of record price gains, said real estate tracker CoreLogic on Wednesday. In 12 months, the median price increased 9.1 percent, outpacing the 4.2 percent yearly increase in 2016. San Diego County’s median home price hit an all-time high in June of $545,000. Its lowest point of the year was $492,500 in February. December is typically a slower month for the housing market, but real estate agents and market watchers said high demand, and a limited number of homes for sale based on historic averages, pushed prices up. Also, a strong economy with high consumer confidence is also a factor, said Alan Gin, economist at University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate. “The economy is solid. Unemployment is low,” he said. “People hear that housing prices are going up and they want to jump in before it gets out of hand even more.” New home sales propelled December’s price rise. There were 484 newly built homes sold in December, above the monthly average of 251 sales throughout 2017. The median for a newly built home was $606,250, down from a high of $792,250 in June. Most new home projects are in eastern parts of the county, such as Talus at Weston in Santee, which is selling homes from $719,895 to $743,895, said NewHomeSource. The price increases did not mean there were more homes selling. In December, 3,390 homes sold, 58 less than the same time last year. Listed homes for sale continued to decline in December, following a yearly Continue Reading

The vanishing San Diego single-family home

Many people still dream of buying a house that includes a few bedrooms, a yard to play in and a porch to watch the comings and goings of the neighborhood. Yet making that dream a reality is becoming increasingly more difficult in San Diego County.Local planners and communities have largely cut back on approving new housing developments, instead opting for condos and apartments.  In the first nine months of 2016 in San Diego County, 1,848 single-family home permits were issued while 5,564 multifamily permits were approved, said the Construction Industry Research Board. There are roughly 1,545 new houses opening in San Diego County this year, about the same as last year.  At the same time, the region is expected to add 3,000 new apartments, said MarketPointe Realty Advisors.Back during the housing boom,  9,555 single-family permits were issued in 2004. But after the bubble burst, that number dropped to 1,786 in 2009.From 2011 to 2015, builders averaged 2,470 single-family permits a year and 4,815 for multifamily. Some housing advocates say San Diego County, a region with more than 3 million people, should have more single family homes.But the county is running out of places to build and developers run into community opposition to large housing developments.Without more supply, the homes that are coming onto the market are increasingly scarce — and expensive.Most of the new homes coming out this year sell for $1 million or above, outpacing November’s median home price for a new house, $651,500. They are also fairly large — an average 3,147-square-feet — 17 percent bigger than the average size of an American home built in 2015, said the U.S. Census.When smaller isn’t a bad thingDaniel and Justine Altenburg, both 32, had considered buying a condo after getting married but they both grew up in single-family homes and wanted a house.“What it Continue Reading

San Diego’s new median home price: $535K

The San Diego County median home price decreased for the second month in a row in August to $535,000, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported Tuesday. Despite the break in rising prices, most experts caution that tight supply — fewer homes are for sale in 2017 compared to last year — should continue to keep prices high. The half-a-million-dollar price tag for a home is still far off what houses were going for during the housing boom before the crash. The November 2005 peak of $517,500 equates to more than $644,000 in today’s dollars when adjusted for inflation. A slowdown in August, a 0.5 percent decrease in price, is common after stronger sales in February through May, said Dana Kuhn, real estate lecturer at San Diego State University, and it is unlikely the median price would reach June’s peak again before the end of the year. “It’s usually more about spring than it is summer,” he said of sales in San Diego. The median home price has increased 7.4 percent in a year, led by the resale market. Here is how all the categories changed in August: Median resale home price: $585,000. With 2,643 sales in August, the resale home price has increased 6.4 percent in a year. Resale condo price: $400,000. The condo price has increased 6 percent in a year and there were 1,234 sales in August. Newly built home: $623,750. There were 235 new homes sold in August, reflecting a slowdown in the construction of single-family homes. Price is down 8.7 percent in a year, but it fluctuates more than other home categories because of limited supply. There were 5,867 homes listed for sale in August, said the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, down from 6,814 listings in August last year, and 7,265 in 2015. Despite nearly 1,000 fewer listings compared to last year, the number of sales was nearly identical. Mark Goldman, also a real estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said if listings keep going down, it will eventually begin to slow Continue Reading

How the Senate tax plan affects San Diego housing

The Senate passed a sweeping tax bill Saturday morning that has housing advocates, real estate agents and industry groups worried. At the same time, Republicans who led the tax reform push are celebrating it as a boon for economic growth — ultimately helping the housing market. It’s not a done deal yet. The House passed their version in early November, but now Congress must come together to pass one bill. What’s the biggest difference: The Senate bill would keep the mortgage interest deduction as is, except remove an equity debt deduction of up to $100,000. The House plan would lower the annual mortgage interest deductions to newly issued loans totaling no more than $500,000, down from $1 million right now. This is a major concern for real estate agents because homes in San Diego cost more than the rest of the nation. As of the start of November, 3,651 out of 32,900 homes had sold in 2017 for more than $1 million in San Diego County, said ReportsOnHousing. In the same time period, 17,862 homes sold for more than $500,000. What does that mean for buyers: Typical buyers put 10 to 20 percent down, so most San Diegans will not be affected by the deduction yet. The luxury market is another story. What does it mean for affordability: The bills both look to nearly double the standard deduction, so people might have more money in that regard. However, both the Senate and House versions of the bill would curtail the state and local income tax deduction as they are now (the Senate version includes an amendment to allow deductions of up to $10,000 for state and local property taxes). Because taxes are high in California, it could mean less income for potential buyers. How will millennial buyers fare: Many millennials have student loans, especially those being recruited by tech companies in California, that could prevent them from having enough money for a down payment. The House bill would remove the student loan interest deduction, which allows borrowers to Continue Reading

San Diego home median reaches $540K, second highest of the year

The San Diego County housing market is positioned to finish 2017 with near-record prices.The county median home price has increased 9.1 percent in a yearNovember’s median price of $540,000 was the second-highest of the yearReal estate agents say buyers are paying more as inventory stays lowSan Diego County housing prices: Here’s the full storyIn November, the median home price in San Diego County reached $540,000, its second-highest of the year, said real estate tracker CoreLogic. The highest all-time median of $545,000 was in June.Led by significant price increases in the resale single-family home market, the county’s median home price has increased 9.1 percent in a year.November’s numbers buck the trend of decreasing or stable prices around the end of the year. Real estate agents say a big reason for the increase this season was a continued lack of homes for sale, based on historic averages, and buyers willing to pay more to get a home.“A lot of buyers have held out for more inventory coming on the market. They’ve waited and that’s not happening,” said Jan Ryan, a Re/Max agent based in Ramona. “They’ve gotten to the point of realizing it’s not getting any better.”Despite the increase in price, there was no noticeable increase in the number of sales. There were 3,287 sales in November, the third lowest of any month this year. The most was June with 4,318 sales.Branden Matlock, a real estate agent with The Condo Showroom downtown, said he continues to see a strong desire for homeownership among clients, especially as rent prices continue to increase.“I don’t think anything magical happened (in November),” he said. “The inventory didn’t change. Without more supply, it will continue to push prices up.”There were 4,858 homes listed for sale in November, said the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. That’s down from 5,960 listed in November last year; Continue Reading