Walter Mencken 2:37 p.m., March 1
Half SD Households Can Afford Homes, but We're Still Expensive
As the housing bubble inflated amazingly earlier in the decade, only 7% of San Diego households could afford to buy a median priced home, says Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research. Now that the bubble has burst, 51% of households can buy a median-priced home. However, San Diego is still the 12th least affordable housing market. The New York City area is the least affordable at 22.6% and San Francisco is second most expensive at 28. San Diego home prices are back to where they were in 2003, and adjusted for inflation, are back to 1999 levels, says Cunningham. If the current trend continues, "home prices are likely to stay below former peaks for another 8 to 10 years," says Cunningham. "Adjusted for inflation, prices may never reach previous highs without an unprecedented and unexpected rise of area household incomes." Cunningham's new San Diego Economic Ledger has just been published by the institute.