The San Diego County housing market is positioned to finish 2017 with near-record prices.The county median home price has increased 9.1 percent in a year. November’s median price of $540,000 was the second-highest of the yearReal estate agents say buyers are paying more as inventory stays low.
In November, the median home price in San Diego County reached $540,000, its second-highest of the year, said real estate tracker CoreLogic. The highest all-time median of $545,000 was in June.
Led by significant price increases in the resale single-family home market, the county’s median home price has increased 9.1 percent in a year.
November’s numbers buck the trend of decreasing or stable prices around the end of the year. Real estate agents say a big reason for the increase this season was a continued lack of homes for sale, based on historic averages, and buyers willing to pay more to get a home.
“A lot of buyers have held out for more inventory coming on the market. They’ve waited and that’s not happening,” said Jan Ryan, a Re/Max agent based in Ramona. “They’ve gotten to the point of realizing it’s not getting any better.”
Despite the increase in price, there was no noticeable increase in the number of sales. There were 3,287 sales in November, the third lowest of any month this year. The most was June with 4,318 sales.
Branden Matlock, a real estate agent with The Condo Showroom downtown, said he continues to see a strong desire for homeownership among clients, especially as rent prices continue to increase.
“I don’t think anything magical happened (in November),” he said. “The inventory didn’t change. Without more supply, it will continue to push prices up.”
There were 4,858 homes listed for sale in November, said the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. That’s down from 5,960 listed in November last year; 6,505 in 2015; and 7,836 in 2014.
The average time on market for a county home was 29 days in November, down from 33 days the same time last year. The quickest thing to sell, at an average 21 days, were condos costing between $250,001 to $500,000.
Prices for most types of housing were up year over year:Median resale home price: $600,000, 2,028 sales. Prices increased 10.1 percent — the most of any category — in a year.Resale condo price: $405,000, 938 sales. Prices increased 8 percent in a year. Newly built home price: $572,750, 321 sales. The newly built home price is down 12.1 percent from last year but it fluctuates more than other home categories because of low supply.
Homes that have seen their time for sale drop the most are those priced from $750,001 to $1 million. They stayed on market an average 30 days in November, down from 39 at the same time last year.
Houses that cost more than that can expect to be on the market longer (up to 61 days for homes more than $1.25 million), although some real estate agents believe recent changes to the tax code by Congress could increase the coffers of more affluent buyers.
Of ZIP codes that sold at least 20 homes, Rancho Bernardo had the biggest resale single-family median home price increase, 37 percent, in the past 12 months. It was followed by La Jolla (31 percent) and Escondido (26 percent).
For resale condos, Santee had the biggest annual median price increase of 21.3 percent. It was followed by Pacific Beach (19.9 percent) and Chula Vista (19.4 percent).
Absentee buyers, typically investors who don’t intend on living in the home as a primary residence, made up 20 percent of sales in November, slightly down from 20.1 percent at the same time last year. In early 2013, more than 30 percent of sales went to absentee buyers.
San Diego County’s price growth reflects increases in Southern California as a whole. The region’s median sale price matched its all-time high of $505,000 in November.
The biggest increase was in Ventura County with a 10.5 percent annual increase for a median of $580,0000.
It was followed by San Diego with the 9.1 percent increase; San Bernardino County with a 7.6 percent increase for a median of $317,500; Riverside County with a 7.4 percent increase for a median of $365,000; Los Angeles County with a 7 percent increase for a median of $567,000; and Orange County with a 6.1 percent increase for a median of $700,000.