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Distressed Home Sales May Peak in 2009

Home prices have been on the decline for some time now and the state association of realtors’ estimates prices will continue to decline next year.

The good news is that the California Association of Realtors anticipates existing homes sales will continue to rise in 2009.

President William E. Brown said uncertainty about the economy and various financial systems could extend into next year.

He also said that his association expects the economy to be at its weakest over the next three quarters, through the second quarter of 2009.

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“Going forward, a great deal depends on the state of the financial system in general and the real estate finance situation in particular, as well as the flow of distressed sales through the market,” he said, citing the 2009 California Housing Market Forecast released Oct. 15. “We expect sales of distressed properties to peak in early 2009, a critical factor in the housing market that directly impacts the timeframe for stabilization in the median price.”

CAR estimates that the statewide median price will decline 6 percent to $358,000 in 2009 compared with a projected median price of $381,000 this year.

Sales in 2008 are estimated to be 12 percent above 2007, and another 12.5 percent increase is anticipated for 2009, according to In San Diego.

The San Diego Association of Realtors reported that the median price of existing attached homes was $299,900 in September, down 32 percent from last year and down 4.2 percent from August.

In the county the median detached home was $375,000 in September, representing a 32 percent decline from last year and 3.8 percent decline from the month prior.

Both the number of listings and sales volume were up locally for attached and detached homes in September, from September 2007 and a month earlier.


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Building Plans:
Voit Commercial Brokerage reported that the local retail market is undergoing changes due to the credit crunch.

Jerry Holdner, vice president of market research at Voit, noted concern over expensive and scarce financing, economic uncertainty and volatility, and an increasing gap between asking prices and bidding prices between buyers and sellers.

Retail vacancy rates increased in the county to 3.3 percent in the third quarter 2008 from 2.7 percent during the third quarter 2007.

Currently, there is 418,000 square feet of retail construction under way, according to Voit, and 2 million square feet planned.


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Breeza Nears Completion:
Breeza has reached 90 percent completion and occupancy is scheduled for Oct. 26. The residential high-rise on Pacific Highway and Ash Street by Intergulf Development Group and Lennar Urban includes 155 residential units, office and commercial space.

The mixed-use project includes the historic Parron Hall building built in 1909 for the San Diego Globe Grain & Milling Co.

The nine-story structure built around Parron Hall includes street-level retail, pool, fitness room, community room, and underground parking.

Residential units range in size from 615 square feet for a one-bedroom, one-bath unit to 2,150 square feet for a two-bedroom, two-bath unit.

Prices start in the mid-$300,000s and climb to $1.9 million.

Intergulf and Lennar will host a grand opening of the mixed-use project in January.


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Recruitment Effort:
The Centre City Development Corp. contracted a national executive search firm earlier this month to search for its new leader.

Ralph Andersen & Associates will recruit the next CCDC president and chief operating officer, a position vacated by Nancy Graham in July.

The $40,000 contract includes all recruitment expenses.


Send real estate, construction, design and urban planning news to Michelle Mowad at mmowad@sdbj.com. She may also be reached at 858-277-6359, ext. 3109.

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