San Diego Housing Market News and Analysis
Articles that I have written for VoiceofSanDiego.org, a local news publication that provides continuing coverage of San Diego housing and economic issues.
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.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 20, 2009 - 8:42pm
Let's take a slightly different look at the construction, finance/real estate, and retail job sectors. I have long highlighted these three industries in my analysis because they were directly involved in the housing bubble, benefitting from the respective frenzies for building homes, lending funds, selling homes, and spending all the money that issued forth from the regional home equity ATM.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 18, 2009 - 11:13am
The rate of year-over-year job losses in San Diego declined again last month, according to the latest estimates from the EDD. Between September 2008 and September 2009, the region lost 52,000 jobs. This is not great, obviously, but it's an improvement over recent months.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on October 4, 2009 - 9:32pm
For a long time I have been discussing, with various degrees of rantiness, government intervention in the housing market. When I first touched on the subject in early 2007, before any bailouts had begun, some of the potential interventions I envisioned seemed kind of far-fetched. By late 2007, as I noted in a Manimal-referencing followup, many of these same interventions were already underway.
And now? The lengths to which the government has gone to prop up the housing market have surpassed even my own cynical expectations. By a long shot.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 30, 2009 - 3:37pm
The July update of the Case-Shiller San Diego home price index is in. The index increased by 2.5 percent from June -- a substantial (if expected) one-month bounce.
As usual, Kelly has done a nice writeup on month-to-month changes with and without seasonal adjustments. I'll supplement her piece with some visual aids.
First up is a look at the three price tiers and the aggregate price index from their respective peaks in the 2005-2006 region:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 25, 2009 - 2:49pm
In response to last week's article on historical home sales, a reader requested charts expressing the sales data in terms of dollars' worth of homes sold instead of just the number of homes sold.
I had to cobble a few things together to make these charts. (Non-nerds may skip the rest of this paragraph). Ideally, the dollar volume of homes sold would be calculated by either just adding up individual prices of every sale or multiplying the average price times the number of units sold, which would both come out to a precise total of dollar volume. But I didn't have historical average prices. What I did have historical data on was the Case-Shiller index, which I rebased to the median price for all homes sold in San Diego in August 2009. This isn't exactly the same as the average price for any given month, for various reasons, but I suspect it will be close enough to get a general idea of what's going on.
Okay, everybody back? Here is the chart of existing home sales in terms of dollars since 1990, with the requisite 12-month average to smooth out the seasonal ups and downs:
Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 21, 2009 - 7:31pm
According to the Employment Development Department's latest estimates, San Diego's year-over-year rate of job losses slowed for the first time in 2009. The region's employment decreased by 55,600 jobs between August 2008 and August 2009, a decline of 4.3 percent.
That is good news -- if the latest numbers turn out to provide an accurate picture of San Diego's employment situation.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 17, 2009 - 8:54am
Home sales may have recovered strongly from the depths they plumbed in 2007 and 2008, but they are still anemic when compared to San Diego sales activity over the past couple of decades.
You wouldn't know it from looking at a chart of historical home sales. The number of sales, indicated by the blue line in the following graph, has recently vaulted up to the upper part of the historical range:
But it's not quite that simple. (Is it ever?)
Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 5, 2009 - 1:50pm
Summer may be winding down, but the summer rally in the size-adjusted median price of San Diego homes continued another month. From July to August, the median price per square foot rose .7 percent for detached homes, 1.3 percent for condos, and .8 percent in aggregate.
This was not much of a month, relatively speaking, but it turns out that the mid-2009 rally as a whole has been unusually powerful.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 2, 2009 - 12:06pm
For a while I've been tracking a set of statistics that highlighted the great disparity between homes sales in higher-priced and lower-priced areas of San Diego. What we've been seeing for quite some time now is that compared to the expensive areas, the cheap areas had fallen a lot more in price but had experienced drastically higher sales volume on a year-over-year basis.
As of July, this disparity was still in place to some extent -- but the gap had closed substantially.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 30, 2009 - 5:09pm
As with every month so far in 2009, more existing San Diego homes went into foreclosure than were sold. Just barely, though -- the ratio of home sales to default notices (the initial stage of foreclosure) was just gnat's eyelash below one-to-one. The ratio was .997, to be exact. That's the best sales-per-default ratio all year.
But it's still terrible. The following graph shows that while the sales-per-default ratio is above the lows set earlier in this downturn, it's still well lower than it was at any time during the two decades or so that preceded the current housing crash.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 26, 2009 - 4:27pm
The Case-Shiller index of San Diego home prices notched up its second monthly gain in June. Wait -- wasn't June, like, two months ago? And given that the index is based on the preceeding three months' worth of data, doesn't this give a better idea of the price movement in May (the middle month of the three) than June?
Yes and yes. Such lagginess is what we hate about the Case-Shiller index. What we love about it is the fact that it is an apples-to-apples comparison based on subsequent sales of the same homes. This provides a much more accurate view of home price changes than indicators like the median price, which measures how much the typical buyer is paying but doesn't account for what he or she actually got for the money.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 21, 2009 - 7:10pm
The California Employment Development Department released the latest job estimates today. According to these estimates, July saw San Diego hit its highest year-over-year rate of job loss in the downturn to date. Between July 2008 and July 2009, the region lost 55,100 jobs, a decrease of 4.2 percent.
The following graph shows how many jobs were gained or lost in the three housing bubble-related sectors I like to highlight -- construction, finance, and retail -- along with all other sectors. While the trouble started in the housing-beneficiary sectors, the growth of that green bar shows that losses have mounted outside those sectors over the past year.
Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 5, 2009 - 9:54am
There was a bit of divergence in the size-adjusted median price of San Diego homes sold in July. By this measure, single family home prices were up a robust 3.7 percent from June, whereas condos gave back most of June's explosive gain with a subsequent 6.0 percent decline.
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