San Diego median home price drops to $537,750 in July

The San Diego median home price cooled slightly in July, ending a three-month streak of record-breaking peaks.

The $537,750 median dropped nearly $6,000 from last month but still increased 8.6 percent in a year, CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

Experts attribute the high prices to a lack of homes for sale and intense demand. The relatively small reduction in home prices from last month does not have anyone thinking prices are heading south.

“I don’t see anything pushing prices back at this point,” said Mark Goldman, a finance and real estate expert at San Diego State University.

The new median home price record is still far from what the region experienced during the housing boom. When adjusted for inflation, the November 2005 peak of $517,500 equates to more than $644,000 in today’s dollars.

When broken down, all types of housing were down from peaks set the month before:

  • Median resale home price: $591,750. Treated as the most important part of the housing market because of number of sales, the median resale price has increased 8.6 percent in a year with 2,359 home sales in July. The peak is still $595,000, set in June.

  • Median resale condo price: $405,000. The resale condo price has increased the slowest in a year, about 5.7 percent, with 1,141 condo sales in July. The peak remains $411,750, set in June.

  • Median newly-built home: $614,500. With just 218 sales in July, the new home price continued to fluctuate wildly compared to other categories. The price increased 8.2 percent in a year. The peak of $792,500 was also set in June.

Inventory was low compared with previous years. There were 5,828 homes listed for sale in the county in July, said the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, down from 6,571 listings in July last year, and 7,153 in 2015.

Andrew LePage, research analyst with CoreLogic, said the drop in sales across Southern California suggested homebuyers in late spring burned through most of the available homes for sale, leaving limited options in July.

There were 3,728 home sales in San Diego County in July, 133 fewer than the same time last year.

Point Loma (92106) has had the biggest yearly increase for resale homes — 33.8 percent — for a median price of $1.2 million. Not counting communities with fewer than 20 sales in July, Rancho Bernardo (92127) had the second biggest yearly increase of 24.5 percent for a median of $1.1 million and Poway (92064) with a 19.5 percent increase for a median of $783,000.

For resale condos, La Jolla (92037) had the biggest increase at 38.8 percent for a median price of $788,000. Also only counting communities with at least 20 sales, Pacific Beach (92109) was the second-hottest market, increasing 28.7 percent in a year for a median of $710,000. It was followed by Linda Vista (92111) with a 22.9 percent increase for a median of $409,000.

For all of Southern California, the median home price was up 7.7 percent in a year to a median of $501,000. The largest increase was in Riverside County, at 9 percent, to a median price of $365,000.

It was followed by San Diego County with the 8.6 percent increase; Los Angeles County with an 8.1 percent increase for a median of $575,000; Orange County with a 7.9 percent increase for a median of $690,000; San Bernardino County with a 7 percent increase for a median of $305,000; and Ventura County with a 6 percent increase for a median of $554,500.

Case-Shiller

Another indication of San Diego County’s strong sellers’ market was the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices for June also released Tuesday. It showed the region’s home prices increased 7.1 percent in a year — the most of any California city.

Case-Shiller tracks repeat sales of homes as they turn over through the years.

Cheryl Young, Trulia senior economist, said there is some indication home prices are bumping up against affordability constraints when looking at year-over-year data.

“It’s rising at a lower rate, which isn’t exactly prices cooling off,” she said. “But, it is definitely a sign that the market may not be able to sustain those high rates of price growth.”

Young said San Diego’s year-over-year numbers are more stable than other cities. Since January 2016, the 12-month increases have typically stayed around 6 percent.

Seattle prices increased 13.4 percent in a year, the most in the nation. It was followed by Portland at 8.2 percent and Dallas at 7.7 percent.

The lowest increases were in Cleveland at 2.9 percent, Washington, D.C., at 3.1 percent and Chicago at 3.2 percent.

Tight home inventory across the nation will likely continue to push prices up, wrote David Blitzer, managing chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in the monthly report.

“Both the number of homes for sale,” Blitzer wrote, “and the number of days a house is on the market have declined for four to five years.”

* * *

S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices for June 2017

Yearly increases by city

Seattle — 13.4 percent

Portland — 8.2 percent

Dallas — 7.7 percent

Denver — 7.6 percent

Detroit — 7.6 percent

Las Vegas — 7.3 percent

San Diego — 7.1 percent

Tampa — 6.9 percent

Boston — 6.2 percent

San Francisco — 6.1 percent

Charlotte — 6 percent

Phoenix — 5.8 percent

Minneapolis — 5.7 percent

Los Angeles — 5.6 percent

Atlanta — 5.3 percent

Miami — 5 percent

New York — 3.9 percent

Chicago — 3.2 percent

Washington, D.C. — 3.1 percent

Cleveland — 2.9 percent

phillip.molnar@sduniontribune.com (619) 293-1891 Twitter: @phillipmolnar

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