Median home prices are down; sales are down and so is the number of new home projects in the county.
Ada Kaiser, a San Diego-based real estate consultant, said the number of permits issued this year is down 30 percent from last year and 50 percent from 2006.
“I think we can expect more of the same for another year,” Kaiser said. “Everyone is so cautious about getting back into the market.”
Kaiser said homebuilders are pulling a dwindling number of permits, if at all. She said many new phases of single-family developments already under way are seeking permits to build two to four homes in a phase rather than six to 10 at a time.
Although there are some bright spots of activity, buyers overall are not convinced sales prices have hit bottom, she said.
Meanwhile, builders are wary about going to work without a sales contract.
According to Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial data, as of July a total of 1,549 new privately owned residential building permits for both single-family and multifamily units were issued in the county, year to date, compared with 2,753 permits issued in 2007 by the end of July.
Meyers Builder Advisors, a Corona Del Mar building adviser, looked more closely at the number of new projects.
It found in its Sept. 8 market watch report that Southern California builders added only 113 new projects so far this year compared with 301 projects in the same period last year.
It reported that the influx of multi-family housing in San Diego in 2005 and 2006 and the subsequent oversupply of units downtown have caused homebuilders to be cautious.
Compare And Despair
Meyers Builders said homebuyers could choose from 318 open projects in the county last year, whereas today’s choice would be 257 , a 19 percent decline.
The more telling statistic was that San Diego has added only nine projects so far this year; only four of those have recorded sales.
In Chula Vista, dubbed the seventh fastest-growing city in the nation by the U.S. Census Bureau between 2001 and 2002, the number of permits for new homes is down, way down.
Brad Remp, interim planning and building director with Chula Vista, said 3,600 permits were issued in 2005 compared with a projected 600 for 2008, which includes a project with 494 units.
The city anticipates issuing the permit for Windstar Pointe Resort, a Windstar property, in Eastlake in October. Windstar’s parent company is San Diego-based Nexus Properties.
“We are seeing an across the board reduction,” Remp said. “We’re basically just issuing minor permits for water heater replacement and things like that.”
In August 2008, a total of 198 permits were issued in Chula Vista compared to 321 permits for the same month last year.