San Diego County Market Summary – December 2010

It’s been so long since the San Diego North County housing market was “normal,” it may be hard to believe it will ever get there again. But according to the latest news and economists’ outlooks, it’s on the way back now.  That means this is the best time to invest in a San Diego North County home, while housing supplies remain high and interest rates and prices are still low.  

San Diego housing supplies are at about eight months on hand, comfortably drifting down from posttax credit surges during the summer.  Actual annual sales are at about 4.5 million, seasonally adjusted. It would take about 5.2 million in transactions to be considered “normal,” says the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).  If that seems like a lot of homes to sell, consider that in 2005 transaction volume reached $7.1 million.

Smart investors don’t wait for the bottom to pass them by. While it may seem that North County buyers have plenty of time, small shifts in sales, prices, consumer sentiment and other market conditions can produce big changes very fast.  Nationally, sales volume and prices are flat, but that won’t last long in a post-recession economy.

Time to buy in California

Nationally, the road to normal has begun, but the outlook is even more exciting for California.   

  • California median house payments were $1,747 in Q2 2010, down from $3,583 in Q2 2007.  
  • California median home prices were $375,000 in November 2010, up from $290,000 in January 2010, and $225,000 in January 2000.
  •  California median rents were $1,484 in Q2 2010, up from $1,046 in Q2 2000. 
  •  The gap between the average rental payment and the average mortgage payment has not been this close in the last ten years. If you can buy, now is the time. 

UCLA Anderson Forecast Senior Economist Jerry Nickelsburg forecasts that “all the evidence suggests that California is ever so slowly coming out of the recession … but, slow growth means that while the groundwork for faster growth is being put down, there is not a lot of perceptible change.” 

 The California Association of REALTORS® expects housing sales to end 2010 with a 10% decline in transaction volume from 2009, but the trade organization projects a 2% increase in sales in 2011.

 However, softer transaction volume has not resulted in lower home prices. The trade organization anticipates that 2010 will end with an 11.5% increase in median home prices to $306,500, and that prices will further increase to $312,500 in 2011. 

“As the U.S. economy continues its tepid recovery, we’ll see some improvement in California’s economy,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young in September. “We expect a  net jobs increase of approximately 1.4 million jobs in California for the year to come and an improvement in unemployment figures.”  As the housing market stands now, sales are brisk under $500,000, causing prices to rise.  Upscale home prices may soften further, affording a terrific opportunity for home buyers taking advantage of a three-year price decline in certain price ranges, especially now that jumbo loans are more available. 

To take advantage of this great San Diego North County housing market, contact Gary Harmon, your top North County Realtor.  

Gary specializes in San Diego North County homes including:  Carlsbad homes, Oceanside homes for sale, Encinitas homes, Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido real estate.  Gary Harmon also specializes in San Diego North County homes for over 55 seniors.  North County Homes for Over 55 (55+) covered on this blog include  Oceana homes, and Emerald Lake Village (all in Oceanside). Other homes included are Rancho Carlsbad homes (Carlsbad), Oaks North homes and Seven Oaks homes (both in Rancho Bernardo).Ocean Hills Country Club homes.