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Home prices up 6.4% since last year

Home price increases outpaced the national average in San Diego County in February but at a slower pace than usual

The San Diego median home price ticked up 6.4 percent in the last 12 months, lower than the 7.2 percent gain in December and 6.9 percent in January.

The nationwide median home price, up 5.3 percent in the last 12 months, also showed signs of slowing.

David Blitzer, managing chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in the report that a lack of new home construction and rising prices are not just bad for new buyers but have owners in a bit of a bind.

“Homeowners looking to sell their house and trade up to a larger house or a more desirable location are concerned with finding that new house,” he wrote.

From January to February, San Diego home prices, adjusted for seasonal variation, increased 0.2 percent — the third lowest of the 20-city composite.

Mark Goldman, finance and real estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said the month-to-month change was not yet enough to qualify as a trend but would be a different story if it continues into the summer.

“At this point, keep an eye on it. Don’t panic,” he said. “We’re in a good, sustainable range of price appreciation.”

Goldman said the home market could continue to do well for owners if investors decide real estate is a better play than stocks and bonds.

“I think people are more comfortable owning property than securities,” he said, noting the ups and downs of the stock market.

The highest year-over-year price gains took place in Portland at 11.9 percent. It was followed by Seattle at 11 percent; Denver at 9.7 percent; San Francisco at 9.3 percent; and Dallas at 9 percent.

Washington, D.C., was the only city in the last 12 months to see a decrease in value, 0.3 percent. Chicago rose the least at 1.8 percent.

Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell said in a statement that rising prices and low home inventory could make for a rough summer.

“Entry-level and mid-market buyers — typically the housing market’s bread and butter — are likely to face stiff competition, rapidly rising prices and very limited inventory,” she wrote. “The patience of many buyers will be tested in coming months.”

However, Gudell said luxury buyers should find more homes available, less competition and prices growing far more slowly.

The median home price in San Diego County was $478,000 in March, real estate tracker CoreLogic said.

The Case-Shiller index is considered the gold standard for measuring and comparing overall big-city housing markets, because it tracks repeat sales of identical single-family houses as they turn over through the years.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

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