Walter Mencken 3 p.m., July 31
San Diego Home Prices Down 38 Percent from Peak Three Years Ago
November home prices in the 20 major metro areas were down a record 18.2 percent compared with a year earlier, according to Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released this morning (Jan. 27) by Standard & Poor's. San Diego did worse: the county's home prices were down 25.8 percent from November of last year. That decline was topped by only five cities: Phoenix (down 32.9 percent), Las Vegas (31.6), San Francisco (30.8), Miami (28.7) and Los Angeles (26.9). These six metro areas, which were grossly overbuilt, generally in condos, have consistently been the biggest monthly decliners. San Diego prices are now down 38 percent from their peak in November of 2005. There was one piece of possibly encouraging news: San Diego's drop of 2.3 percent from October to November of this year was less than the drop of 3 percent between September and October.