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Whither House Prices
February 2009 | by Bertha Leone, Crest


It is hard to believe that just a few years ago housing prices in North San Diego County were rising by double digits annually. When we hear that the median price of homes in North County in December 2008 was down 34% from the same period in 2007, we easily forget that, in the past ten years, home values have risen nationally 88%, and even more in California.

Actually, there is some good news for homeowners. For the first time since June of this year, there was an increase in prices in North County. Compared to November, there was a 4.75% increase in the median price of detached homes, and a 16.67% increase in the median price of attached homes. The number of homes sold increased by 19.69%.

The good news for buyers needing financing is that interest rates continue at record lows, with well-qualified buyers able to take advantage of the combination of low rates and low prices.

What about Del Mar specifically?

Sales at the high end of the market are comparatively few. The small number of property sales in Del Mar makes it impossible to draw conclusions using median prices. As an example, in December 2008, there were only 3 detached properties sold in the entire 92014 zip code. The midpoint price was $840,000, showing a decrease of 39% from December 2007. November, on the other hand, had 5 sales with a midpoint of $1.5M and a decrease of only 7% from November 2007. Check October, and you will find 6 sales and a midpoint of $2.25 million, an increase of 97% from October of 2007. (All of the above information is from the North County Association of Realtors Homedex TM Report).

Clearly, the Del Mar numbers are a far cry from the $375,000 median price of detached homes in North County. At the end of the day, we have to remember that the price of a home is dependent on recent sales of comparable properties, what else is available in the price range, and what a qualified buyer is willing to pay.
What lies ahead for 2009? Wouldn’t it be nice to have that crystal ball?



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