Monday, January 29, 2018 / by Sean Zanganeh
"A key index of home values in San Diego County indicated that prices rose in September for the fourth month in a row.
Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which measures changes in resale prices of single-family homes, showed that values rose 1.05 percent in September from August in seasonally adjusted data. Prices were still off 5.72 percent from the previous September, and down 39.3 percent from the March 2006 peak.
Nationally, seasonally adjusted home prices leveled off with a 0.28 percent increase, the fourth straight month of rising figures.
"I think this means we've probably seen the bottom in terms of pricing and in terms of volume," said Robert Martinez, director of research for real estate analysis firm MarketPointe Realty Advisors in San Diego. "We may bounce around here for a little while."
The increase has been driven by buyer demand for the homes priced under $283,761, where values grew 2.28 percent. The middle tier of houses, valued from $283,761 to $436,564, went up 1.44 percent, and houses in the top tier remained flat, with a 0.1 percent decline in the index.
"The higher dollar-value properties, it's harder to tell," said Leonard Baron, a real estate professor at San Diego State University. "The market in the lower end has stabilized."
As values declined, buyers priced out of the market during the real estate boom of 2000 through 2006 found themselves suddenly able to afford a place of their own. But the number of houses available for purchase has not kept up with demand.
Martinez said that in San Diego County, listings are down to 8,500, a steep drop from "over 20,000" he observed in 2006.
"There's not enough inventory. There's nothing," Baron said.
An $8,000 federal tax credit may also have helped home values. The credit was expected to expire at the end of November, leading to a frenzy of buyers looking to sign a purchase contract on a property in September and October. Earlier this month, Congress extended the life of the credit to May 1.
But Martinez doesn't think the tax credit is pumping up the market artificially.
"I don't think there was anyone sitting in their living room reading their newspaper and deciding that because of $8,000, they would take on $150,000 in debt," he said. "It may have knocked some people off the fence, though."
North County Times
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