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60.9 F
San Diego
Saturday, May 18, 2024

February Housing Prices Are Jaw Droppers

A “jaw dropper” was how Chris Anderson, president of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors described the group’s report on February median home prices as they creeped ever closer to the $1 million mark.

Based on statistics it compiled from the San Diego Multiple Listing Service, the association reported that median price of a single family home in San Diego County was $915,000 in February and the median price of condominiums and townhomes was $625,000.

A year ago, the median sales price for a single family home was $775,000 and $514,500 for condos and townhomes.

“When I saw that come out, that was a jaw dropper,” Anderson said. “It’s hard to believe. I’ve been doing this for 32 years. I remember when my jaw dropped when the interest rates went below 10% and the other jaw dropped when condos went for $100, 000,” Anderson said.

Anderson said that San Diego has been ranked as the least affordable housing market in the country, not because prices are higher than anywhere else but because people have to pay more of their income to cover the cost of housing.

“Our housing went up but our income did not go up equally,” Anderson said. “You have to have two people working, that’s the way it is these days.”

The hottest areas for home sales in February were Fallbrook, Oceanside, Ramona, Vista, Escondido and El Cajon.

Waiting to Sell

According to the Association of Realtors, the most expensive home sold in February was a 2,729-square-foot home in the Delmar gated community of Sandy Lane that went for $18.9 million.

Even with rising prices, Anderson said people are buying and demand is back up to the point that multiple offers are again common. But the number of single family homes on the market is 40% lower than it was in February 2021 with 1,153 listings compared to 1,989 a year ago.

She predicted that inventory would improve as we move into spring.

“A lot of sellers that I’m talking to are waiting for April Fools or after taxes or May 1. That’s when we’re going to see our flock of inventory,” Anderson said.

Against that backdrop Point2, an online real estate service, reported that based on the median annual income in San Diego County, most people who live here can’t afford to buy the median priced home.

Breaking down the population by generation, Point2 said that the maximum price Gen Z buyers aged 15 to 24 can afford is $280,570, for Millennials aged 25 to 44, the maximum affordable price is $548,846, for Gen X buyers aged 45 to 64, the maximum price is $643,104, and for Baby Boomers aged 65-plus, the maximum price is $421,058.

Moving Up

Point2 adds that condos are still well within reach of many buyers, and that there are homes selling for below the median price.

Real estate agents also add that people who already own a home can tap the equity they’ve built up to afford a pricier new home than someone who is just getting into the market.

Anderson also said that rents have been going up so rapidly that people who may have been hesitant to get into the market are taking the leap to put a lid on their housing costs.

And just as there’s a shortage of homes to buy, Anderson said the rental market is tight.

“What I have found personally with my clients is there’s nothing to rent,” Anderson said.


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