The San Diego County median home price hit $495,000 in September, a drop from the previous month but a strong showing for a typically slow part of the year, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported Wednesday.
Last month, the median home price reached $498,000, its highest point in a decade, but the market is still a ways off from the all-time peak in 2005 of $517,500.
Sales were also down in September to 3,786, its lowest number since March, yet still high for this time of year. September is usually a weak month as parents send children back to school, with sales dropping an average 10 percent from August in the years 2012 to 2015.
The last time there were more home sales in September was 2005 when 5,432 sold, CoreLogic data shows.
This September's median prices for resale homes and condos were down from August, with only newly-built homes increasing.
The median price of a resale house was $544,000, an 8.7 percent increase in the last 12 months. Resale condos reached $375,000, also an 8.7 percent yearly increase, and newly built homes cost a median $687,500, up 9.9 percent in a year.
Mark Goldman, finance and real estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said the home market is reaching a more stable level — gone are the 10 to 20 percent price increases of 2013 and the first half of 2014.
"The rate of price appreciation is sustainable," he said. "I believe scarcity is still working to push prices up."
Goldman said there would likely not be another big home-price increase for the rest of the year now that the summer buying season is over.
"Once people get their Christmas trees up at Thanksgiving, the home-buying season is kind of over," he said.
Andrew LePage, data analyst at CoreLogic, said the sales figures from June through September signalled that the wider regional housing market was slowing. In Southern California as a whole, home sales fell about 1 percent short of the same period last year.
"Waning affordability and inventory constraints continue to limit the sales pace," he said in Wednesday's report.
San Diego County fared better, selling just six fewer houses this June through September than the same time last year.
Distressed sales, made up of foreclosures and short sales, continued to decline toward their historic norms in San Diego County. Just 4.2 percent of sales were distressed, down from 5.8 percent in September last year.
All-cash buyers bought 17.6 percent of the properties, compared with the peak 37 percent in February 2013 and cyclical low of 6.1 percent in April 2005.
In the six-county Southern California market, San Bernardino County had the biggest year-over-year price increase at 11 percent for a median home price of $298,250.
San Bernardino was followed by San Diego County at 7.6 percent; Los Angeles County with a 7.3 percent rise for a median of $526,000; Riverside County at 6.2 percent with a median of $334,500; Orange County at 4.1 percent with a median of $640,000; and Ventura County with a 0.2 percent change with a median of $500,000.