Siobhan Braun 8:30 a.m., July 21
Home values in West, including SD, continue soaring
But this won't last, warns Zillow.com economist
Home values in the U.S. continued surging in May, but the West ran away with the prizes -- for the sellers, that is, according to Zillow.com. Sacramento prices rose 1.7% in May from April, topping the 30 major markets. San Diego metro area prices rose 0.8%, compared with 0.5% for the nation. On a year-over-year basis, the only metro areas rising more than 20% were in the West -- San Jose, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Phoenix, and San Francisco. San Diego nearly made that list at 19.9%. Economists have noted that speculators are pushing up prices, often through Wall Street pools. It is interesting that the gamblers are running up prices in the most expensive markets, including San Jose, with a median home value of $695,300, San Francisco ($590,600), Los Angeles ($455,600) and San Diego ($410,200). "Enjoy it while it lasts," says Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries. The price appreciation will moderate as more sellers enter the market, builders construct more homes, and mortgage rates rise.