San Diego Business Journal

The year-end results are in and median sales prices for homes are down way down.

The countywide median single-family detached home price fell 6.13 percent to $497,000 in December from $529,450 in November and declined 11.25 percent compared with December 2006, according to HomeDex, the North San Diego County Association of Realtors' monthly housing prices and affordability trends report.

The report, which tracks the North County residential market, found that the median price for all homes declined to $485,000 in December from $527,000 in November.

The report, released Jan. 8, looks at single-family detached and attached markets.

HomeDex found that the median-priced, single-family detached home decreased 3.4 percent to $569,000 in December from $589,000 in November. The single-family detached median price per square foot decreased to $263 in December from $280 in November and $308 in December 2006.

The single-family detached median priced non-North County home decreased 2.17 percent to $450,000 in December from $460,000 in November.

The good news is that more residents are able to afford housing.

Twelve percent of county households could afford the median-priced single-family detached home in North County in December compared with just 10 percent in November and only 8 percent in December 2006, according to HomeDex.

The monthly payment, including principal, interest, property taxes and insurance, for a median-priced, single-family detached home in North County fell to $3,472 in December from $3,631 in November.

A total of 20 percent of county households could afford the median-priced, single-family detached home in areas outside North County in December compared with 19 percent a month earlier and 14 percent from December 2006. The monthly payment, including principal, interest, property taxes and insurance, for a median-priced, single-family detached home in non-North County areas declined to $2,746 in December from $2,836 a month earlier.

Median prices also fell and affordability increased for attached homes. The countywide single-family attached home price decreased to $315,000 in December from $324,500 a month earlier and $350,000 in December 2006.

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Cushman & Wakefield-Burnham Deal Closes: Cushman & Wakefield said its deal to acquire San Diego-based Burnham Real Estate closed on Jan. 3. The commercial real estate services firm announced the buyout Dec. 18 after weeks of industry rumors. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial picked up a few top producers who have left Burnham in the wake of the sale. Bill Ballard and Scot Eisendrath will now provide financial and analytical advisory services to Grubb & Ellis. Eisendrath was vice president for Burnham's advisory and consulting services group and Ballard was a principal and managing director.

Lynn LaChapelle, a senior vice president for Burnham, and Robert Prendergast, the director of Burnham's capital markets investment group, joined the San Diego office of Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate and money management firm, in December.

Jed Stirnkorb went to CB Richard Ellis. Stirnkorb, who has more than 20 years of experience, had been one of Burnham's top producers. He will serve as senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis' San Diego central office.

Burnham, established in 1891, was one of the region's largest real estate companies.

It had 250 employees operating in five offices, including three in San Diego. It estimated brokerage and finance transaction volume of $3 billion in 2007.

Cushman & Wakefield has 215 offices globally, including 10 in Southern California. In 2006, it completed industry transactions valued at more than $85 billion.

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And Then There Were Two: In late December, the Centre City Development Corp. narrowed the list of development teams competing for the opportunity to redevelop the Civic Center Complex.

Portland, Ore.-based Gerding Edlen Development Co. and Hines, with U.S. headquarters in Houston, will participate in a series of public meetings during the next few months and submit final proposals, including conceptual plans and financial projections, in September.

Both Gerding Edlen and Hines are expected to incorporate ideas and suggestions gained from public meetings into their submitted proposals, according to the CCDC, the city's planning and redevelopment agency that oversees downtown redevelopment projects.

City offices are scattered in eight downtown buildings, including four leased buildings. More than 3,000 employees work in these properties, which cost $13.5 million a year to rent, according to CCDC records.

Deferred maintenance on the City Administration Building, which accommodates 600 of the 3,000 employees, is estimated to exceed $10 million. In addition, the CCDC projects increased rental rates on the leased buildings.

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Shea Homes Still Selling: Award-winning homebuilder Shea Homes closed more than 110 home sales in December, bringing the year-end total to 375 in San Diego. Last year, Shea Homes San Diego closed 505 home sales, and currently has 15 projects in the county.

"We all know 2007 was a challenging year for the housing industry, but the team at Shea Homes has accomplished much and has much to be thankful for," said Paul Barnes, president of Shea Homes San Diego, in a year-end report released Jan. 8. "Despite economic hardship, we stayed true to our commitment to our core values."

The year's top-selling neighborhoods included Madeira at Del Sur in North County, Saguaro at Windingwalk in Chula Vista and Larkspur Creek in San Marcos.

The builder also opened six neighborhoods in 2007, including Chaparral Ridge in Escondido in March and Cypress Greens in Carmel Mountain Ranch in May.

Send real estate news to Michelle Mowad at mmowad@sdbj.com .