Mortgage Daily

Published On: March 29, 2016

Home prices were up 6.9 percent in January over the last 12 months in San Diego County, said the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday.

National prices were up less in the same time period at 5.4 percent.

The biggest gainers were Portland, Seattle and San Francisco.

From December to January, the median home price in San Diego County, adjusted for seasonal variation, increased 1.1 percent, beating the national average by 0.6 percent.

David Blitzer, managing chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in the report that home prices nationally continue to climb at more than twice the rate of inflation. But, housing supply is still a major issue.

“While low inventories and short supply are boosting prices, financing continues to be a concern for some potential purchasers, particularly young adults and first-time homebuyers,” he wrote.

Lack of housing supply is typically cited by analysts and real estate agents as a reason for increased housing prices and rent. The latest data from the U.S. Census, from July 2014 to July 2015, showed more people left the county than moved in — and housing is considered a major factor.

San Diego had the lowest drop in home inventory, 30.2 percent, in the nation from January 2015 to January 2016, real estate tracker Zillow said.

Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell said in a statement Tuesday that besides low inventory and problems for first-time buyers, the latest numbers pointed to a healthy economy.

“Economic growth hasn’t been overwhelming, but it has been consistent, and as long as wages and job opportunities keep rising, the housing market should remain fairly stable and healthy,” she said.

The median home price county-wide was $455,000 in February, CoreLogic said. Average rent for the county was $1,618 a month in March, according to MarketPointe Realty Advisors.

Gary Kent, a La Jolla, California-based real estate agent with Keller-Williams, said the lack of homes for sale has continued to make for a challenging market.

“Anything under $700,000 tends to get a lot of interest. It’s very common to get three, five or seven offers on it,” he said.

Kent said a lot of times homes are going over list price and require a lot of effort to get.

“You need to act fast, make a strong offer and don’t come in low if you want the house,” he said.

Portland’s home prices rose the most year-over-year at 11.8 percent of the 20 largest metropolitan areas covered by the index. It was followed by Seattle at 10.7 percent; San Francisco at 10.5 percent; and Denver at 10.2 percent.

San Diego was tied in eighth place with Los Angeles at 6.9 percent, the index said.

At the bottom of the list was Washington, D.C., which rose 2.2 percent, and Chicago at 2.1 percent.

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