November home prices up, sales down compared to 2009

By CIty News Service

Home prices were up in San Diego County compared to a year ago, but sales were down, the San Diego Association of Realtors reported Friday.

In November, 2,100 homes exchanged hands in the county, compared to 2,300 in October, down about 8.7 percent, according to SDAR.

Compared to November 2009, sales of single-family homes plummeted 13 percent, and attached homes like duplexes and condominiums plunged 16.9 percent.

“We are hopeful that the early part of 2011 will post better numbers,” said SDAR President Mark Marquez. “(Loan) rates remain low and San Diego has about six months of available inventory; both are a plus for buyers.

“We are closely watching the proposals with regards to the mortgage interest deduction, which is an important incentive for home ownership. Just the idea of limiting or eliminating that deduction could keep many buyers on the fence and delay the housing recovery even further.”

Houses are remaining on the market longer — 80 days for detached homes, a 19 percent increase over last year, and 99 days, or 39 percent longer, for attached homes.

The median sale price for houses in November were $389,900, up 1.4 percent over October and nearly 4 percent higher than in November 2009.

For 2010 sales from January through November, the median price was 9.4 percent higher than over the same period in 2009.

The SDAR report also included sales by zip code. Among the major drops:

  • Lemon Grove, where 30 homes sold in November 2009 compared to 13 last month;
  • southern Escondido, from 45 to 23;
  • East San Diego, from 28 to 9; and
  • Encanto, from 51 to 32.

The only place where a significant increase in sales was found, compared to November of last year, was in College Grove, where 38 homes sold instead of 22.