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Home Prices Climb 18% to Average $179,975

San Diego County Business Editor

The cost of housing in San Diego County continued to climb, with the latest sales figures showing double-digit percentage increases for both used and new units.

Market activity also remained high, spurred perhaps by low mortgage rates and the specter of growth-control initiatives on many local cities’ November ballots. Unit sales and new listings of resales both showed healthy gains in September.

The average resale price of existing houses sold in September was $179,975, up 18% from the $152,579 average price paid in September 1987, according to the San Diego Board of Realtors. The San Diego board’s members handle the majority of the resale transactions in San Diego, Chula Vista and El Cajon.

Brisk Sales

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Total units sold by board members in September was 1,421, up 30% from the 1,095 units sold in September, 1987, but down slightly from the 1,427 units sold in August of this year, realtors’ spokeswoman Karen Rountree said. New listings of houses placed on the market in September totaled 2,541, up from 2,333 during the same month a year ago.

Market activity at the county’s subdivisions was similarly hot. The average price paid for a new detached, or single-family unit, during the three-month period ended Sept. 30 was $211,608, up 23% from the same three-month period a year ago, according to Market Profiles, a San Diego market research firm that conducts quarterly audits of subdivision sales.

The average price of attached units, including new condominiums and town houses, over the recently completed quarter was $144,554, a 10% increase from the previous year’s average, said Market Profiles President Russell Valone.

Valone, who said the price increases of new units were substantially higher in some areas of North County, attributed the increased cost in large part to the “fear element” of many buyers who feel that price increases will accelerate if growth-control initiatives are passed by voters in San Diego and other cities in November.

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Total resales handled by San Diego Board of Realtors members through September was 14,041, a 17% increase from the 12,004 units reported sold over the same nine months a year ago. Rountree said board members handle about 60% of the resales in the county.

On a year-to-date basis, the average price of resold housing brokered by San Diego board members is $169,105, up 17% from the average price paid over the same nine months in 1987. The average used house was on the market 75 days during the first week in October, down from 91 days for the year-ago period.


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