~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:

  • New visitors are advised to begin with the Bubble Primer or (if wondering about the site name) the FAQ list.
  • Housing articles I’ve written are found in the main section below.
  • Discussion topics posted by site users are found in the “Active Forum Topics” box to the lower right.
  • This website is an avocation; by day I help people with their investments as a financial advisor*.  Market commentary, an overview of our investment approach, and more can be found on my firm's website.

Thanks for stopping by…

August 2016 Housing Data

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 24, 2016 - 12:19pm
Prices have leveled off in the last couple of months...

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July 2016 Monthly Housing Data

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 21, 2016 - 5:37pm
Well, hello there! Can I interest you in some housing data? Some charts and graphs, perhaps, and possibly even a table?

I'll start with what I think is the key graph in this (currently undersupplied) market: months of inventory, which combines supply and demand into a single handy stat.  We can see here that while supply increased compared to demand, that is typical for the season, and we remain slightly below last year's levels. 

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June 2016 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on July 16, 2016 - 2:27pm
Home prices continued their general uptrend last month. The monthly graph of median price/square foot is a bit noisy...

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April 2016 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on May 17, 2016 - 9:25pm
After a little dip in February, San Diego home prices* experienced a sizable pop in March and April.

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February 2016 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 15, 2016 - 9:09pm
Supply is still tight out there, with February's months of active inventory lower than either of the past two years:

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December 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on January 9, 2016 - 8:52am

December is always an unusual month in that closed sales typically increase (presumably people trying to jam the deal through before year-end), while pendings sales drop (presumably due to holiday disruption):

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October 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on November 22, 2015 - 3:16pm
Prices have flattened out over the past few months, as might be expected during this time of year.  This is most easily seen in the Case Shiller proxy, which uses a 3 month average:

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August 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 10, 2015 - 9:19am
While the scarcity of inventory has eased a bit, supply is still pretty tight in the grand scheme of things.  Prices have accordingly continued to be pressured upwards, with the price per square foot experiencing a 2% pop last month.  Here are the MoM and YoY stats...

...and here is the single graph that I think best sums up the state of things (showing as it does the relationship between months of inventory and price changes, as well as recent trends in both those things):

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Shambling Towards Affordability, Mid-Year 2015

Submitted by Rich Toscano on July 26, 2015 - 2:54pm
Once again, the traditional "Shambling Towards Affordability" title for this series proves inapt.  The market does have a bit of a shamble to its step, but the direction in which it lumbers is distinctly un-affordable.  (In price terms, anyway... low rates do ease the sting, but that's a separate topic to be addressed below).

While valuations have crept up a bit over the past year, the big picture hasn't changed much: home prices are significantly higher, when compared with local rents and incomes, than they typically have been over the almost 4-decade history of the data:

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June 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on July 15, 2015 - 2:50pm
The local housing market was looking strong as of last month.  Prices continued to creep higher, sales were robust, and inventory, while slightly higher, failed to outpace the increase in demand.

Months of inventory is not as low as it was during the 2013 feeding frenzy, but it's just about the lowest since -- if that doesn't change, we can expect further upward price pressure immediately ahead.

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May 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on June 16, 2015 - 6:07pm
Hi all.  Not much has changed from last month's update, so I'm just going to do a chart dump and dispense with the words.  Starting now.

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March -- April 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on May 20, 2015 - 4:46pm
The market's been pretty hot, by which I mean, demand seems to be outstripping supply. I base this statement on the below chart, which shows that while months of inventory is higher than it was during the spring 2013 feeding frenzy, it is lower than this time last year:

...and, it's among the lowest we've seen recently outside said feeding frenzy:

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February 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 22, 2015 - 5:44pm

As of January, there was a big divergence between pending and closed sales: closed sales were very weak (even considering the seasonality), but pendings were strong.  This gap narrowed substantially in February as closed sales made a big catch up move.  Check it out in the graph below... closed sales were unusually low in January, but a lot closer to recent years (albeit still somewhat low) in February.

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January 2015 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on February 7, 2015 - 2:53pm
Sorry Piggs, I didn't get around to posting the December numbers.  But let us not dwell on the past*, and instead soldier on to the January numbers.

*Though if you really want to, the December data is all in the charts below.

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November 2014 Housing Data Rodeo

Submitted by Rich Toscano on December 21, 2014 - 3:20pm
Hi everyone -- I'm going to keep it brief and just do a graph-only version this month.  Happy holidays to all!

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