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:
Thanks for stopping by…
April housing data: some slowing but still low inventory/higher prices; real monthly payments surpass bubble peak
Submitted by Rich Toscano on May 11, 2022 - 8:51pm
I don't have too much to add to what I wrote last month, so I'll mostly stick to charts for now and refer people to last months' writeup for the color commentary.
Just a couple quick notes on April:
1. There was was a notable drop in pending sales:
2. This pushed months of inventory above last year's level (but still extremely low in the grand scheme of things):
3. Inflation-adjusted monthly payments are now comfortably above the bubble peak:
Given the lags in real estate transactions (rate locks, escrow periods, etc.), it might take some time for the full impact of the higher rates to be realized. The next couple months should be more informative on that front.
In the meantime - more graphs below and some thoughts/ranting on these valuations in the prior entry.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on April 14, 2022 - 1:57pm
As of March, there was still nothing for sale. In fact we hit an all-time (in my data) low in months of inventory:
Prices rose accordingly:
Speaking of things going up really fast -- 30 year mortgage rates just hit 5%. This was at 2.9% 6 months ago! This is a violent move, and because it started from such a low level, has a major impact on monthly payments. I've made a couple charts to try to visualize this impact.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 21, 2022 - 8:56pm
The price valuation index looks not too different from the last update. It's crept up a bit, but it in the same (albeit historically quite high) ballpark.
The monthly payment index, on the other hand, looks quite different thanks to the recent pop in rates. The red line below shows that the ratio of monthly payments to local incomes and rents has exceeded its post-crash highs, and is now at a level last seen in mid-2003.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 14, 2022 - 9:23pm
Last month saw a big jump the single family median price per square foot:
Here's how it looks on the graphs -- a monthly move comparable to the height of last year's frenzy.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 18, 2022 - 4:27pm
Submitted by Rich Toscano on January 16, 2022 - 6:10pm
Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 12, 2021 - 12:31pm
Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 19, 2021 - 5:43pm
Home prices were pretty much unchanged last month, as the market continued to digest early 2021's massive price increase. And months of inventory remains pretty much rock-steady -- and at a quite low level, albeit not so low as the frenzy months earlier this year. The usual charts below...
Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 15, 2021 - 4:02pm
Over at my day job, we wrote a long piece attempting to get our heads around what's going on with housing. Check that out and if you're still awake at the end, here are a few bonus graphs:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 7, 2021 - 4:47pm
I have virtually nothing to add to last month's description... the market spent another month digesting the price overshoot during the frenzy period, and inventory continues to be off the lows but still really low. Not much to see here...
Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 16, 2021 - 2:54pm
August looked a lot like July: no more frenzy, but still a very undersupplied market.
I want to note one thing about this graph, which compares months of supply (blue line, inverted) with monthly price changes (red line). Earlier in the year, we saw a very tight market as measured by a high blue line -- but the red line, prices, rose in excess even to that! At the time I speculated that there might be eventually be some price pullback to make up for that overshoot. It seems that might be happening now, as we are in the opposite situation... supply is still quite tight, and prices are rising, but less than we'd expect at this level of supply. So if you put those two periods together, they make sense. Based on the length of the frenzy overshoot, we may be looking at a few more months of more muted price increases (at least as compared to what one might expect at these supply levels).
Other than that... yeah, more of the same... prices were flat-ish, inventory increased a bit, but so did pendings so months-of-inventory was basically unchanged. IE: no more feeding frenzy, but still a very tight market. Graphs below...
Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 7, 2021 - 5:05pm
Prices backed off a bit last month, sales declined, and inventory rose. It seems that the market has finally come off the boil somewhat. However, supply is still quite low compared to demand, as measured by months of inventory. So while the panic buying phase seems to be over, this is still a strong market. Charts below.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on July 11, 2021 - 9:57pm
Inventory continued its barely-perceptible rise, and prices increased further. It continues to look like the peak of the frenzy has passed, but inventory remains very scarce.
Crazy stat of the month: the single family price/square foot increased 32% from a year ago! Incredible.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on June 13, 2021 - 2:14pm
Note: I did some housekeeping on the graphs, getting rid of many that I thought didn't add that much value. For example, condo data was volatile without adding much info (so I mostly focus on single family homes now), and contingent inventory hasn't been a factor for many years. Also, for the long-term price graphs I wanted a log scale graph, and user spdrun told me a trick for getting those to look good (thank you spdrun!). However, the downside is that the Y axis units on the log scale graph are pretty meaningless. So, for both the long term price graphs (pr/sq foot and Case Shiller), I include both a linear and log scale version.
OK, onto the data. Looking at these graphs, my feeling is that the frenzy has probably peaked. It's still a frenzy! But months of inventory has finally stopped declining and even rose a bit. (Edit: to be clear, I am not suggesting that prices have peaked, just that the imbalance between supply and demand may have started to diminish).
Zooming out, supply and demand might be moving back towards balance, but it has a long way to go:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on May 26, 2021 - 3:38pm
I'm still trying to put together a post with some big picture thoughts on the SD housing market. The market's confusing in several ways, and my thoughts are more jumbled than usual.
While I flail away at that, here are some updated valuation charts:
~Active forum topics~