San Diego Housing Market News and Analysis
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I started this website in mid-2004 to chronicle San Diego’s spectacular housing bubble. The purpose of the site remains, as ever, to provide objective and evidence-based analysis of the San Diego housing market. A quick guide to the site follows:
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Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 31, 2009 - 5:15pm
Kelly Bennett has written several words about today's release of the Case-Shiller index for January, so I'll largely just supplement with a few charts.
Here is a look at the decline from the peak for all three price tiers:
Note that the high-priced tier once again fell hardest last month. Relative weakness in this tier is a fairly new development, as the graph makes clear.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 24, 2009 - 4:43pm
Based on their historical relationships with rents and incomes, San Diego home prices are now reasonable.
There. I said it.
The long-term price-to-income and price-to-rent graphs tell the tale:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 20, 2009 - 3:05pm
February proved to be another brutal month for San Diego's job market, according to the EDD's latest estimates. The region is estimated to have lost 37,900 jobs between February 2008 and February 2009. This is a contraction of 2.9 percent.
Early in the downturn, the losses first showed up in the sectors with the most exposure to the housing bubble: construction, finance, and retail. By now, however, job losses are quite a bit more widespread. This is evident in the following graph, which shows the year-over-year change in employment for the three most bubble-exposed sectors, the remainder of the economy, and all sectors in total:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 18, 2009 - 3:46am
A record number of San Diego mortgages went into default last month. 3,705 homes entered this initial stage of foreclosure, surpassing the previous high of 3,601 default notices delivered in April 2008.
Trustee sale notices, which occur later in the foreclosure process, remained well below their records, but since they lag default notices it is reasonable to expect that they will rise soon as well.
The following graph shows that the default respite enabled by a late-2008 change to state law was short-lived:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 13, 2009 - 6:00pm
Below, please find a few tidbits to aid in any weekend procrastination you might be planning.
First, I'll be on KOGO (that would be the radio, AM 600) on Sunday at noon chatting with my buddy Scott Lewis, editor of voiceofsandiego.org, about housing and ye olde inflation/deflation debate. I know what we'll be talking about because we already recorded the segment, which was about 20 minutes long.
So tune in to hear the part where I know I have another a point to make, but I totally forget what it was, resulting some nice dead air. Smooooth.
The show should be archived here at some point.
Second, Jon Lansner of the OC Register is celebrating the 3-year anniversary of his housing blog by interviewing other housing bubble chroniclers. I'm up today.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 10, 2009 - 7:40pm
Condos were whacked hardest again last month, at least as measured by the size-adjusted median price. That price indicator was down 6.4% for condos between January and February alone. The detached home size-adjusted median was down 3.0%, with a volume-weighted aggregate of the two down 3.8%.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 5, 2009 - 9:43pm
Today the California Employment Development Department revealed, unsurpringly, that San Diego's job losses have been severe. The latest update included a revision to last year's data, which painted a bleaker picture of recent months than had previous releases. (This is also unsurprising, given some of the statistical jiggering that takes place with the job numbers).
The graph below shows the year-over-year rate of change for the three hard-hit sectors related to housing, as well as the rest of the economy and all sectors combined. Remember, this is a rate of change graph. So if a line turns up but is still below zero, as in the case of finance, that means that the sector in question is still shrinking, but just not as quickly as before. And if a line is below zero but flat, as in construction, that means that the sector is still losing jobs, but is doing so at a steady rate.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 3, 2009 - 10:43pm
Well, people continue to ask questions about those home price rate-of-change graphs so I thought I'd put up a few more.
Some people wanted to see a longer-term view that showed the year-over-year price change during the boom as well as during the bust. And some wanted to see the actual price index alongside the rate of change. The below graphs offer both. In order to keep things readable I gave each price tier its own graph:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 26, 2009 - 10:46pm
People seemed to find the rate-of-change graph in the prior post interesting so I thought I'd follow up with a look at how all the individual Case-Shiller price tiers have been trending.
The results are found in the accompanying graph...
Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 25, 2009 - 9:29pm
Below are a few quick graphs of the December numbers... I will note that for the second month in a row, the high tier fell most on a month-to-month basis (-2.4%).
I should also note that the tier cutoffs keep getting lower -- moreso than would be accounted for by just price declines -- because most of the activity is concentrated in lower-priced properties. (The cutoffs, you may recall, are arrived at by separating all the home sales into thirds by price, so the tiers will drop as more low-priced stuff sells).
Anyway, here's a chart from the peak:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 20, 2009 - 4:50pm
After last week's note on the topic of dramatically disparate buyer interest in different property types I thought I should update the stats on which zip codes have seen the biggest increases in sales activity. To change it up a bit this time, I sorted the list of zip codes based on January 2009 median price instead of sorting zips by growth in sales volume as I had previously. (The median price is a flawed indicator, for reasons often discussed here, but it's the only thing available at the zip code level and besides, it is good enough for gauging the kinds of broad trends we are looking for with this study).
Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 16, 2009 - 4:15pm
Housing sales volume has been improving of late, as I noted last week. But now that foreclosure activity has bounced back after a temporary lull that resulted from a change to state law, the number of existing homes going into foreclosure each month is once again higher than the number being sold. That was the case in December, anyway, when DataQuick recorded 3,004 existing house and condo sales compared to the 3,315 mortgage default notices recorded by the county. Default notices dropped to 3,055 in January, but while the January DataQuick numbers aren't out yet, other data indicates that sales will also be lower than they were in December.
Here's an update of a chart we've looked at from time to time as the housing bust has progressed. The orange line on the graph divides the number of single family home sales in a given month by the number of mortgage defaults that same month. The idea is to get a rough idea of how demand stacks up against potential "must-sell" supply. (Condos are excluded from the chart simply because I could only get my hands on historical sales data for single family homes, so the trend changes in this ratio are more important than the absolute number.)
Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 13, 2009 - 11:00am
A while back, just for giggles, I put a little Redfin price per square foot widget up near the lower right of the Econo-Almanac. Lately I've noticed an interesting pattern... that asking prices have turned up noticably even as selling prices continue to nosedive:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 12, 2009 - 8:28pm
San Diego resale housing activity logged its strongest January in three years:
And inventory declined somewhat, leading to a months-of-inventory figure that was just about half of what it had been in January 2008...
Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 10, 2009 - 8:47pm
3,055 San Diego homes entered the foreclosure process in January. This is down from last spring's record-setting levels, but not by much in the grand scheme of things.
The continued onslaught of mortgage default notices makes it clear that the three-month plunge seen in late-2008 was the result of new foreclosure rules, not of any sort of market improvement.
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