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San Diego home median price starts year under $500K

The San Diego County median home price was $495,000 in January, unchanged for three months, CoreLogic said.

In October, the median hit $507,500 — its highest point in a decade — but has remained under half a million dollars since and pushed the nominal 2005 peak of $517,500 (or $644,487 in 2016 dollars) further out of reach. 

January is typically the slowest month of the year, a lingering effect of buyers and sellers closing up shop for the holidays. There were 2,480 sales this January, up 4.6 percent from the same time last year. 

Alan Gin, economist at University of San Diego, said a reason for the unmoved median home price could be rising interest rates since Donald Trump’s election victory and high prices.

“While people want to buy houses, we’ve hit a big affordability problem,” Gin said. 

In 12 months, the county’s home price increased 7 percent. 

The January resale house median was $537,500, with 1,628 sales, and resale condo median was $385,000 with 748 sales. Both medians were up roughly 6 percent in a year.

The newly-built home median was up 25 percent in a year, to $615,000 in January.

Reflecting a lack of new home construction, 104 homes sold in January, the second lowest number since CoreLogic started keeping track in January 1988. The record belongs to January 2015 with 74 new homes sold. 

Cash buyers made up 19.2 percent of sales in January, down 1 percent from the same time last year and way off the peak of 37 percent in February 2013.

Absentee buyers, usually investors who don’t intend to live in the homes, made up 21.2 percent of sales, nearly unchanged from a year ago. In early 2013, 31.3 percent of sales were to absentee buyers. 

Southern California’s median home price was up 5.3 percent year-over-year across the region. The biggest increase was in Los Angeles County, at 7.1 percent to a median price of $525,000.

It was followed by San Diego County’s 7 percent increase; San Bernardino County with a 6.8 percent increase for a median of $283,000; Riverside County with a 6.5 percent increase for a median of $330,000; Orange County with a 2.6 percent increase for a median of $635,000; and Ventura County with a 2.2 percent increase for $510,000.

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

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