San Diego Business Journal

The median price for San Diego resale houses in January was $350,000, down by $16,000 from the median price in December, but up 15 percent above the local median price in January 2012, according to the latest Dataquick report.

For the six-county, Southern California region, the median price for a resold house last month was $321,000, down 0.6 percent from December. But that price was up 23.5 percent from January 2012. The December median price was the highest for any month since the median was $330,000 in August 2008, Dataquick said.

The region’s housing recovery is showing momentum but still carries some risks, says John Walsh, Dataquick president.

“A lot of today’s housing demand is fueled not by spectacular job growth and soaring consumer confidence, but by super-low mortgage rates and unusually high levels of investor and cash purchases,” Walsh said.

As it has in recent months, the region’s move-up market showed nice gains, with sales of houses in the $300,000 to $800,00 range increasing nearly 50 percent year-over-year, while sales of houses above $500,000 grew 74 percent from the prior year’s January.

Absentee buyers and cash buyers continue to account for large share of buyers throughout Southern California. Absentee transactions made up 31 percent of the regional totals, while cash deals made up 35 percent, compared to 32 percent of the total in the year earlier.

The typical monthly mortgage payment last month for all sales in the six counties was $1,140 about the same as it was in December, yet up from $983 in January 2012, Dataquick said.

— SDBJ Staff Report