Walter Mencken 4 p.m., May 3
San Diego Home Values Dropped in September
U.S. home prices dropped 2% in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a rise of 4.7% in the second quarter, according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller data released this morning (Nov. 30). San Diego home values declined 1% in September from August, compared with a decline of 0.6% in August from July. However, local home prices were up 5% compared with a year earlier; among the 20 largest metro areas, only San Francisco topped that with 5.5%. Economist David M. Blitzer of S&P said the report was "weaker than last month," and the expiration of government stimulus programs was only one of several disquieting factors. "Many analysts will argue that a double dip will be confirmed before Spring." San Diego values are down 35.1% from the Nov. 2005 peak.