$543,500: San Diego home price breaks another record

San Diego County’s median home price hit another record in June with an imbalance of supply and demand continuing to push costs up, CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

The median home price reached $543,500, increasing 9.8 percent in a year and marking the third month in a row of record-breaking prices.

Chris Thornberg, economist and founding partner of Beacon Economics, said prices will continue to increase in San Diego because affluent buyers, such as tech workers or researchers, are willing to pay top dollar for scarce housing.

“Home prices are not set on the basis of average income in a community,” he said. “Home prices are set on the basis of the average buyer. When you have a lack of housing — how most of coastal California does, like San Diego — the people who want to move there are willing to pay.”

June’s numbers are still far from the peak of the housing boom. When adjusted for inflation, the November 2005 peak of $517,500 equates to more than $644,000 in today’s dollars.

All types of homes in the county hit new nominal price peaks in June:

  • The median resale home price, considered the most important part of the housing market because it has the most sales, was up 9.2 percent in a year to a median of $595,000 with 2,800 single-family houses sales. The previous peak of $590,000 was set last month.
  • The resale condo price also set a new record of $412,500 — increasing 7.4 percent in a year — with 1,294 sales, $12,000 more than the peak set in April 2005.
  • Prices for newly built homes increased 19 percent in a year to a median of $787,000 with 217 sales. The previous peak of $775,500 was reached in December 2015.

There were 4,311 home sales in San Diego County in June, about 100 fewer than the same time last year. Sales were up across Southern California — the most in June in 11 years — and continue despite low home inventory, said Andrew LePage, research analyst for CoreLogic.

“This suggests the region is burning through its limited supply quickly,” he wrote, “and without a surge in new inventory it might be difficult to hold the pace.”

Inventory was lower this June compared to previous years.

There were 5,828 homes listed for sale in the county, said the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. There were 6,665 listings in June last year, and 6,190 in 2015.

Meanwhile, the homebuilding industry has slowed since the start of the year. In the first five months of 2017, 2,386 permits were issued, dropping 45 percent from the same time last year, said the local Building Industry Association.

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North Park is now the hottest market for resale homes, with prices increasing 34.5 percent in a year to a median of $775,000. It was followed by a 30.4 percent increase in La Jolla for a median of $2.2 million, and a 22.8 percent increase in Vista for a median of $544,000.

For resale condos, Oceanside (92057) had the biggest increase of 20.5 percent in a year to a $315,000 median. It was followed by Pacific Beach with a 19.7 percent increase to a median of $647,000, and a 19.6 percent increase of $580,000 in Oceanside (92054).

The number of absentee buyers, usually investors who don’t intend to live in the homes they purchase, made up 21.4 percent of sales in June, up from 20.3 percent at the same time last year. In early 2013, more than 30 percent of sales went to absentee buyers.

For all of Southern California, the median home price was up 7.5 percent in a year to a median of $500,000. The largest increase was in San Bernardino County, at 12.3 percent, to a median price of $320,000.

It was followed by San Diego County with the 9.8 percent increase; Riverside County with a 7.5 percent increase for a median of $357,000; Los Angeles County with a 7.4 percent increase for a median of $569,000; Orange County with a 6.1 percent increase for a median of $695,000; and Ventura County with a 2.7 percent increase for a median of $565,000.

Case-Shiller

Another indication of San Diego’s rising prices was also released Tuesday. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices said the county’s home prices in May rose 6.6 percent in a year, outpacing the rest of California and the nation.

Case-Shiller differs from just looking at median home prices by tracking repeat sales of homes as they turn over through the years.

Seattle had the biggest increase in the 12-month period, up 13.3 percent. It was followed by Portland at 8.9 percent and Denver at 7.9 percent.

The smallest increases were in Washington, D.C., at 3.6 percent and Chicago at 3.3 percent.

* * *

S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices for May 2017

Yearly increases by city

Seattle — 13.3 percent

Portland — 8.9 percent

Denver — 7.9 percent

Dallas — 7.8 percent

Detroit — 7.6 percent

Las Vegas — 6.9 percent

Tampa — 6.8 percent

San Diego — 6.6 percent

Boston — 6.1 percent

Charlotte — 6.1 percent

Minneapolis — 5.7 percent

Phoenix — 5.7 percent

Los Angeles — 5.6 percent

Atlanta — 5.5 percent

San Francisco — 5.4 percent

Miami — 5.3 percent

New York — 4 percent

Cleveland — 3.6 percent

Washington D.C. — 3.6 percent

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

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