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San Diego County median home price is $650,000 for third straight month

Aerial view of homes
The median home price in San Diego County stayed at $650,000 in November.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The median home price is up 9.3 percent in a year.

San Diego County’s median home price in November was $650,000 for the third consecutive month.

The fact that the price didn’t go up is notable in San Diego County, where there have been substantial gains throughout the coronavirus pandemic, increasing nearly 6 percent month-to-month at one point this past summer.

The median, which includes condominiums, resale single-family homes and newly built homes, is up 9.3 percent in a year, according to CoreLogic data provided by DQNews. The median is the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less.

Housing analysts said the lack of movement in price isn’t something that frustrated potential homebuyers should celebrate just yet. They said all the factors that have driven up prices this year — record-low mortgage rates, lack of homes for sale, increased homeownership desire from stay-at-home workers — are expected to continue. Also, a slowdown in winter is consistent with seasonal trends.

Mark Goldman, a real estate analyst with C2 Financial Corp., said nothing has happened in San Diego County, such as the loss of a major employer, that might upset the upward climb.

“I still don’t see a trend downward,” Goldman said. “Month-to-month is not as important as longer-term trends. The drivers of the housing market still seem to be doing well.”

He cited statements this week by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the Fed will keep interest rates low until the economy recovers. Mortgage rates usually follow the yields on mortgage-backed securities.

In November, the interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 2.77 percent, according to Freddie Mac, down from 3.7 percent the year before.

The median price for a San Diego County single-family home in November was $717,000, up 13.1 percent in a year. That was down from the all-time high of $730,000 in October.

The resale condo median was $475,000, up 10.7 percent a year, and down from the record of $485,000 in September. The median for newly built homes was $724,250 (up 7.4 percent in a year), down from the record $812,500 in October 2018, when there was an increase in luxury single-family homes for sale.

Alan Nevin, real estate analyst at Xpera Group, said one of the reasons prices have increased so much is a lack of homes for sale, driving up final costs because of buyer competition. He said he was hopeful that COVID-19 vaccines would motivate more sellers to put homes on the market next year because he doesn’t see continued price increases at 2020 levels as supportable.

There were 3,909 sales in November, down from the past four months, which saw an average of around 4,200 per month. However, there were about 700 more sales in November this year compared with November 2019.

There were 4,419 active home listings Nov. 2-29, according to the Redfin Data Center. That was down from 5,743 active listings at the same time in 2019.

Across the six-county Southern California region, the median home price declined 0.3 percent month-to-month. Riverside County had the biggest monthly increase, 2.1 percent, to a median of $455,000.

It was followed by Ventura County, up 1.3 percent for a median of $663,750, and Orange County, up 0.6 percent to a median of $799,500. San Bernardino County’s median ($400,000) was unchanged. Los Angeles County was the only area that saw a decrease, 2.1 percent, to a median of $700,000. ◆