San Diego Housing Market News and Analysis
~Welcome to the Econo-Almanac~
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 December 24, 2009 - 4:04pm
It wouldn't be a proper Christmas without a little holiday cheer from legendary housing bubble analyst Ramsey Su. So pour yourself a couple buckets of egg nog and read on...
Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 23, 2009 - 4:34pm
I wrote Monday about the increase in employment at San Diego businesses between October and November. I also discussed how the year-over-year change in payroll employment, while still firmly negative, had become steadily less so in recent months.
Today we'll look at the other job survey I've been writing about of
Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 21, 2009 - 9:29pm
Employment at San Diego businesses dropped on a year-over-year
Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 15, 2009 - 5:49pm
November saw the 7-month rally in San Diego home prices, as measured by the median price per square foot, come to an end:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 14, 2009 - 3:03pm
Last month I wrote about some mixed signals in the data from two different job surveys. While the rate of job loss at San Diego companies was improving, the rate of loss among San Diego's residents -- regardless of where they are employed -- was hitting new highs. The graph accompanying this article shows that this gap widened further in October.
I asked local economist Kelly Cunningham what he thought of the
disparities between the two job surveys since the recession
Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 6, 2009 - 12:01pm
After rising for seven months in a row, San Diego resale home prices
finally took a breather in
November. The median price per square foot actually rose by .9 percent
but it dropped by 1.3 percent for single family homes, of which many
more are sold. A
volume-weighted aggregate of the two dropped by .7 percent for the
month, ending the streak that began in April.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 30, 2009 - 3:12pm
Readers may have noticed that I don't make the kinds of sweeping predictions about the housing market that I used to.
There are two reasons for this.
The first is that housing prices are no longer at an extreme. This can be seen in a semi-recent update to my price-to-income and price-to-rent charts, which show local home valuations returning from orbit and heading back to earth over the past several years. It's pretty easy, when homes are stunningly overpriced, to forecast that they will eventually reach something quite a bit closer to their fundamentally justifiable values. But once the valuations go from "extreme" to "somewhat reasonable," you just don't have that same analytical wind at your back.
The second reason for the dearth of forecasts is more specific to this particular time, place, and subject matter.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 24, 2009 - 7:59pm
The Case-Shiller index numbers for September are in. As had been suggested by the median price data, the aggregate Case-Shiller index ended up rising for another month.
There was an interesting divergence, however. The aggregate index rose by .9 percent between August and September, while the low and medium price tiers each rose by 1.8 percent. But the high-priced tier actually dropped by .9 percent. This is the first drop in any of the index tiers since the price bounce began in early 2009.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 20, 2009 - 8:21pm
The annual change in the number of people employed at San Diego companies improved again last month. Between November 2008 and November 2009, local companies shed 52,200 jobs, a decline of 4.0 percent. Which, as miserable as it may sound, is the best year-over-year job number in six months:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 18, 2009 - 6:08pm
A commenter over at Piggington (my own little internet stomping ground) raised an interesting point in regard to last month's article on San Diego employment. The reader noted that the monthly data I cite measures the number of jobs held in San Diego with no regard for whether the job holders are actually San Diego residents. There is a separate data series that tracks the employment status of San Diego residents whether they are employed in the county or elsewhere. And, for the time being, the two job surveys are providing mixed signals.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 13, 2009 - 7:30pm
A while back, I noticed a funny thing about the year-over-year rate of change in the Case-Shiller index of San Diego home prices. It seemed that movements in the annual price change rate from positive to negative or from negative to positive provided a good indicator that the long-term price trend had changed direction.
Allow me to demonstrate with some graphs.
The graph below shows the home price index in blue with the year-over-year rate of change for the index in orange. It covers a ten-year period more or less centered around the early-1990s housing bust.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 9, 2009 - 3:54pm
It looks like the spring/summer rally has continued into autumn, as the median price per square foot was up 1.5% from the prior month:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 29, 2009 - 6:53pm
The Case-Shiller index is the most accurate measure of aggregate home price changes, for reasons long-since described here. But it's been an ongoing gripe of mine (and everyone's) that the index lags so badly. The data that was just released a couple days ago on October 27, for instance, only tracks home prices through August.
So lately I've taken to using the median price per square foot data to guess, for lack of a better word, what the Case-Shiller index values for more recent months might be. An example of this estimation can be found in the graph below, which appeared in the writeup of the most recent median price data:
Here's how I arrive at these estimates. (Non-nerds may wish to fall asleep for the remainder of this paragraph)...
Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 27, 2009 - 5:25pm
Nobody should be very surprised that the Case-Shiller index rose again in August.
This time around, the long-suffering low tier turned in the best performance with a robust 2.5 percent increase. The middle tier rose 1.6 percent for the month and the high tier increased .3 percent, with the aggregate index rising 1.6 percent.
Here's a graph of the three price tiers and the aggregate index since their bubble peaks:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 25, 2009 - 8:32pm
Here, a little later than usual, is the monthly foreclosure activity update.
The following chart shows that default notices and trustee sales, respectively the initial and final stages of foreclosure, both declined last month.
But both defaults and trustee sales remain at levels that are, shall we say, elevated.
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