Current San Diego Market From the Realtors Perspective

By: John Harris

We are inundated with the opinions of the so-called expert economists on the state of the real estate market; yet, they are forecasting from national or regional statistics. They are not 'in the field' as are the San Diego realtors.

I recently had an opportunity to 'lurk' in a realtor's forum on the Internet and was surprised by the difference in perception between the San Diego realtors and the gloom and doom economists' predictions for 2007. After all, the realtors are the people who really know what is going on in the San Diego real estate market. They see what is selling and what is not - and they know why.

Realtors in San Diego do not see the gloom and doom that economists do. Existing home sales are recovering somewhat since December 2006 with 17,259 homes listed for sale and almost 2,000 homes sold in the last 30 days. This is a rise of 19.2 percent over November 2006 figures, and condos saw a 16.6 percent rise. This isn't to say that the 'bubble' is back - it isn't. Year 2006 had the worse figures for home and condo sales, since they began tracking such statistics in 1998. The number of homes sold was down by 23.4 percent, and condos 26.1 percent over 2005 figures. Yet, December figures are favorable for the San Diego market.

Median home prices were $555,000 for December and $351,000 for condos. The average price for homes rose by 2.9 percent in December to $723,599; and condos rose by 0.3 percent to $408,202.

The number of days homes sit on the market before being sold have unfortunately risen as well, from 64 days in December 2005 to 73 days in December 2006. The number of days for condos haz moved from 65 days in December 2005 to 73 days in December 2006. So, sellers should prepare for the delay in sales, knowing that it will take longer.

Though all of these figures are lower than year-end 2005, the market is resurrecting in San Diego. Even developers are optimistic and continue to build new housing, though this does add to the inventory already on the market and competes with home owning sellers.

San Diego realtors do see the current market as an advantage to the buyers. There are some incredible bargains right now that are bringing previously reluctant buyers into the market.

One factor that always has helped the San Diego real estate market is its location. As many realtors know, there is only so much land within San Diego with no options to expand as in other cities. San Diego has Mexico to its south, Camp Pendleton Marine Base to its north, the Pacific Ocean to its west, and moving east presents commuting problems. Any other open land is either part of a park or reserve. This means the San Diego market always will be an active one.

With San Diego realtors remaining optimistic and the city's economy continuing strong, they see the pricing adjustment to more practical levels as healthy and normal. Though all realtors agree that it is currently a buyers' market, with the right experienced realtor, both sellers and buyers can negotiate some good deals.

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