December 2009 Resale Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on January 10, 2010 - 5:45pm

The San Diego housing market managed to squeek out another gain in the median price per square foot as 2009 drew to a close:

The median price per square foot was up 2.2% for single family homes,  .4% for condos, and 1.8% for a volume-weighted aggregate of the two.  The annual change for 2009 was as follows: up 7.6% for single family, up 12.5% for condos, and up 9.1% in aggregate.

Despite the decline in November (which ended a 7-month streak), the median price per square foot for all three of the above categories finished 2009 at new highs -- at least, new highs since they hit this level on the trip down.

Here's a look at the median, which was a bit flatter:

The Case-Shiller proxy, based as it is on a 3-month average of the median detached price per square foot, rose again without even having declined in November:

Sales volume was also strong after November's weakness:

...and inventory crept along at its seemingly immutable level:

...leading to more of the same in terms of months-of-inventory.

As in recent months, contingent or "reverse shadow" inventory comprised a hefty chunk of available inventory (meaning that there is even less available than it seems).

All in all, not much new this month except the reversal in prices, which suggests that the rally hasn't sputtered out just yet.  For as long as months of inventory remains so low, it seems reasonable to expect that the rally could continue, or that at worst there might be a plateau or "trading range."  Of course, the fact that inventory is this low, that rates are so low, and that demand is at these levels is a function of massive and ongoing interventions in the housing market.  It's certainly no basis for a healthy or sustainable recovery, but it's obviously having an effect in the here and now. 

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Submitted by CA renter on January 16, 2010 - 12:49am.

Thanks for all your work, Rich.

Long live the rally... :(

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