San Diego home price creeps up, but still behind these cities – The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego home prices are slightly rising again but still down sharply from a year ago.
The San Diego metropolitan area saw its annual price decrease 5.3 percent in March, said the S&P Case-Shiller Indices report released Tuesday. That puts San Diego in the bottom three of the 20-city index, while half of the cities — mainly in in the South and Southeast — continue to show price growth.
March marked the biggest annual price drop for San Diego metro, which includes all of San Diego County, since August 2011. Last March, prices were up 30 percent in a year. Like every metro area on the list, rising mortgage rates have tamped down the real estate market — but some cities are still seeing annual price gains.
Miami was up the most at 7.7 percent in a year. It was followed by Tampa, Fla., up 4.8 percent, and Charlotte, N.C., up 4.7 percent. The only cities with drops bigger than San Diego were San Francisco, down 11.2 percent, and Seattle, down 12.4 percent.
“Prices are still recovering from pandemic-era highs,” wrote Zillow senior economist Nicole Bachaud.
She said prices are rising again for much of the nation, despite mortgage rates that are keeping many buyers out of the market.
Home prices in the San Diego metro were up 2.5 percent from February to March, said the index’s nonseasonally adjusted monthly data. All metro areas were up monthly, which Bachaud attributed to a lack of homes for sale driving prices up.
“As inventory remains a challenge in this market,” she wrote, “so too will affordability be rocked by stubbornly high prices that aren’t looking to move drastically any time soon.”
The Case-Shiller Indices track repeat sales of identical single-family houses — and are seasonally adjusted — as they turn over through the years. The San Diego County median resale single-family home price was $880,000 in March.
Real estate experts say many homeowners, who might have normally sold, are holding off because they locked in substantially lower mortgage rates over the last few years. Moving now would likely mean taking on a substantially higher monthly payment, and they would face a difficult shopping process — even if they left San Diego — as inventory is down across the nation.
There were around 2,915 San Diego County homes listed for sale in March, said the Redfin Data Center, the lowest in 12 months. That was down considerably from the summer when inventory reached nearly 6,000 homes for sale in August.
The interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.32 percent in the last week of March, said Freddie Mac, up from 5.1 percent the year before.
Hannah Jones, economic research analyst at, wrote that interest rates for the first three months of the year stabilized somewhat with a low of 6.09 percent in early February and a high of 6.73 percent in early March.
“Rates remained within this band for the entirety of the first quarter,” she wrote, “enabling buyers to plan for their home purchase without having to adjust for significant mortgage rate volatility.”
Mortgage rates have since begun to climb. The average for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was at 7.02 percent Tuesday, said Mortgage News Daily.
While there were big drops for many markets in March, the index still showed nationwide prices were up 0.7 annually. Craig Lazzara, managing director at S&P, wrote in the report that there were noticeable regional differences across markets.
“The farther west we look, the weaker prices are, with Seattle now leading San Francisco at the bottom of the league table,” he wrote. “It’s unsurprising that the Southeast (up 5.4 percent) remains the country’s strongest region, while the West (down 6.2 percent) remains the weakest.”
* * *
S&P Case-Shiller Indices
Annual price growth by metro area
Miami: 7.7 percent
Tampa: 4.8 percent
Charlotte: 4.7 percent
Atlanta: 4.5 percent
Chicago: 4 percent
New York: 3.3 percent
Cleveland: 2.0 percent
Detroit: 1.2 percent
Boston: 0.8 percent
Minneapolis: 0.5 percent
Washington: -0.2 percent
Dallas: -1.2 percent
Los Angeles: -2.9 percent
Denver: -3.6 percent
Phoenix: -4.5 percent
Portland: -4.6 percent
Las Vegas: -5.1 percent
San Diego: -5.3 percent
San Francisco: -11.2 percent
Seattle: -12.4 percent
NATIONAL: 0.7 percent
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