San Diego Real Estate Market Wearing a Halo?

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by Roberta Murphy

market chartCarlsbad, California–While the San Diego home sales aren’t exactly heavenly, it’s faring the best of Southern California’s six counties–and may be leading the charge to an eventual recovery. In fact, we have to wonder if the San Diego real estate market is wearing a halo?

According to the San Diego Union Tribune and San Diego’s DataQuick Information Services, the volume for San Diego home sales in July was off 13.3 percent from a year earlier. That may not be the rosiest news, but when compared to other counties, San Diego looks like a relatively safe haven:

Sold 2006 Sold 2007 Change

Los Angeles County 8844 6809 -23.0%

Orange County 2982 2391 -19.8%

Riverside County 4763 2769 -41.9%

San Bernardino County 3500 2008 -42.6%

San Diego County 3584 3106 -13.3%

Ventura County 941 784 -16.7%
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Southern California 24,614 17,867 -27.4%

These sales counts represent the lowest numbers since 1995, but home prices in the region have not collapsed. Orange County home pricing led the way with zero change in its year over year mean price of $640,000. The San Diego real estate market fared next best with a relatively slight 2.2 percent drop, while San Bernardino was off 3.1 percent, Riverside was off 3.9 percent, Ventura 5.1 percent with Los Angeles faring the worst with a 5.3 percent drop in home pricing.

Real estate bubble bloggers aside, this market turn down is different from what occurred in the region during the early 1990’s recession. In those days, there was high unemployment and many jobless left California for opportunities elsewhere. This time, employment numbers are strong and many would-be sellers have hunkered down for the long term.

And as it has before, San Diego looks poised to lead the way out of the market doldrums, just as it led the way into it a couple of years ago. And what does this mean for potential investors and home buyers? San Diego should be the market to watch, as it will likely lead the charge to recovery.

And we, in particular, keep a keen eye on Carlsbad real estate and Carlsbad homes for sale….

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