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San Diego County median home price leaps to all-time high: $634,000

Stock photo of a home with a for-sale sign.
(File)

The median home price in San Diego County blew past the previous record to hit an all-time high of $634,000 in July.

That represented a 9.3 percent price increase over a year earlier, according to CoreLogic data provided by DQNews — the highest annual jump in nearly two years. The previous record median price — the point where half of all homes sold for more and half for less — was $600,250 in June.

Prices were up sharply across Southern California as experts pointed to historically low interest rates and a lack of homes on the market as driving forces, despite a global pandemic and high unemployment.

Rich Toscano, a partner at San Diego financial firm Pacific Capital Associates, said it’s hard to imagine a better scenario for rising home prices: People don’t want to put properties on the market because it could risk bringing COVID-19 into their houses, which has made listings even more scarce. Borrowing costs are low. And buyers are seeing increased value in homeownership as they work from home.

“For now, everything is going in the housing market’s favor,” he said.

Toscano began warning of a bubble on his housing blog Professor Piggington’s Econo-Almanac in 2004, before the housing crash in 2006. He said the market now is not a bubble and, for the most part, buyers and sellers are acting rationally. However, he did say the factors pushing up prices are temporary and could change as the year goes on.

Housing prices still on the rise

The rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in July was 3.02 percent, according to Freddie Mac, down from 3.77 percent at the same time last year.

There were 5,505 homes listed for sale in San Diego County from July 6 to Aug. 2, said the Redfin Data Center, a drop of 35 percent from the same time last year. Meanwhile, sales of 4,253 properties were a 6.7 percent increase in July from a year earlier.

Redfin data showed that in July, only about 4 percent of homes had a price drop. That’s down from 4.8 percent in 2019 and 4.6 percent in 2018.

Resale single-family homes were July’s market leader in San Diego County, hitting a record price of $700,000, up $44,500 from the old record in June. Resale condominiums also hit a record at $471,500, up about $17,000 from the previous high in March. The median price for newly built homes, which includes condos and single-family houses, was $678,000, down from the record $812,500 in October 2018, when there was an increase in luxury single-family homes for sale.

Across the six-county Southern California region, home prices rose 8.5 percent annually in July. The biggest gain was in San Bernardino County, which increased 9.8 percent in a year to a median of $375,000. Riverside County rose 9.1 percent to a median of $430,000; Ventura County was up 6.7 percent to $635,000; Orange County jumped 6.3 percent to $775,000; and Los Angeles County gained 5.5 percent to $670,000. ◆