Folks in the UTC area (fondly called “Condo Hell” by inhabitants–I know because I used to be one) may be interested in today’s Voice of San Diego piece on the University City housing market. This area has apparently sat out the latter part of the boom, with prices pretty stagnant since late 2003. The zip code winners/losers list I recently put together shows the UTC area as having a 3% median price increase over the past year… positive, at least, but not enough to cover the cost of selling.
Of course, the median price of sold homes is a blunt instrument for measuring general trends; it does not tell you exactly how much the market price of a given home has changed. In this case, it appears the median price is overstating appreciation, as one real estate agent laments, "I have buyers who bought two years ago over in Lucera (a condo conversion project) that are getting less right now to sell it than they paid, and that doesn’t include our commissions."
The article wraps up with an amusing exchange illustrating how much the tenor of market cheerleading has changed:
Asked if sellers have done well in downtown’s younger cousin to the north, [Coldwell Banker branch manager] Burger was cautiously optimistic.
"It depends upon how long they’ve owned the home. If they’ve owned it for 10 or 15 years, they’re doing quite well," she said.
And what if they’ve owned it for one or two years?
"If they’re not absolutely pressed to sell, they still have a lot of opportunity there."
That’s one way of putting it.