San Diego Housing Market News and Analysis
February 2009 Resale Data Rodeo
Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 10, 2009 - 7:40pm
Condos were whacked hardest again last month, at least as measured by the size-adjusted median price. That price indicator was down 6.4% for condos between January and February alone. The detached home size-adjusted median was down 3.0%, with a volume-weighted aggregate of the two down 3.8%.
From the September 2005 peak of the series to last month, the size-adjusted median price was down 45.3% for single family homes, 54.5% for condos, and 48.3% in aggregate.
I wrote a bit about the potential distortion caused by the rush to cheaper inventory over at voiceofsandiego.org... due to my abject laziness, I will excerpt it here:
In any case, here's a gander at the plain vanilla median, where the disparity between condos and detached homes is even bigger:
And here is my projected decline in the Case-Shiller index, based on the detached home size-adjusted median. Bear in mind that due to the distortions discussed in the Voice excerpt above, this projection method has recently tended to predict a bigger decline in the Case-Shiller index than actually ended up happening.
Sales volume was good again, down for the month in what seems to be a typical seasonal pattern, but still higher than either of the past two years.
Interestingly, volume has increased a lot more for single family homes than for condos. The following chart shows the year-over-year change for each month since Feb 2008. While both property types have improved on a year-over-year basis, the improvement has been dramatically higher for detached homes (and this has been the case since mid-2008).
Inventory rose a bit -- also seasonal -- but was lower than at any time during the prior two years:
As you'd expect given the above, the months of inventory figure also put in a good showing:
Of course, the low months of inventory hasn't been a great indicator on account of that whole foreclosure onslaught/economic meltdown thingy. February marked an all-time high for mortgage default notices -- but I will do a dedicated post on that soon.
Still, the one bright spot is that sales activity continues to hang in there. Given all the people either being laid off or in fear of being laid off, that's kind of impressive. It will be interesting to see if we get the traditional surge in March. If so, then that market definitely has that buyer interest going for it. But there's plenty going against it too -- and all the sales activity is still not yet enough to stop the price decline.
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