Walter Mencken 10:33 a.m., May 24
Skyrocketing home prices show signs of stabilizing
Numbers released last week from the California Association of Realtors trade group paint a rather bleak picture for the prospect of home prices continuing to rise as rapidly as they have of late.
First, the Association’s economists found that housing affordability, defined as the percentage of households that could afford monthly payments on a median-priced home, fell to just 32 percent in San Diego County over the second quarter of 2013. That’s down from 38 percent affordability in the first quarter of this year and 41 percent a year ago.
The affordability index assumes borrowers have enough money in savings for a 20 percent down payment, in order to get the lowest interest rate and avoid paying for mortgage insurance. Even then, San Diegans need to make just over $90,000 per year to qualify for the $2250 payment on a $469,040 median-priced home.
Later in the week, the Association reported that while values continued to climb in July based on closed sales data, the increase overall was lower due to rising interest rates and more buyers being priced out of the market. Overall sales volume was up 1.5 percent as compared to a year ago, the first time in six months that activity had increased. July is typically one of the busiest months for real estate sales.
Values locally, however, hit a brick wall last month, rising just 0.1 percent as compared to June, though they remained 23.3 percent higher than a year ago.