San Diego home prices remain at four-year high

Those looking for real estate in San Diego may have to deal with a constrained inventory of available homes, but the extra effort put into finding the right investment property may be rewarded as home prices continue a positive trajectory.

A recent release from an industry organization analyzed 19 major metro markets across the country and revealed that while home prices typically decline between July and August, this year they remained strong, which could be an indication that the recovery in the housing market is gaining momentum.

The home price report revealed that San Diego was among the top fastest-selling markets, with 41.2 percent of homes on the market selling in two weeks or less. The other markets experiencing fast-selling homes were all in the state of California and include San Jose at the top with 52.3 percent of homes selling in two weeks or less, followed by San Francisco with 45.6 percent, Ventura at 43.5 percent, Inland Empire at 42.8 percent and Los Angeles at 39.8 percent.

In terms of inventory, San Diego was also listed among the top seven area markets that experienced the largest drop in inventory of available homes for sale. San Diego's inventory dropped 52.4 percent compared with last year.

A recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune took a closer look at DataQuick information that revealed median home price held steady in August for all San Diego County homes. The article narrowed its focus to various ZIP codes that make up San Diego County and detailed which saw the biggest increases in home price in August 2012 over August 2011. Topping the list is the neighborhood of Rancho Santa Fe, which saw a 140.7 percent increase in the median price of homes. The neighborhood of San Ysidro followed, which demonstrated a 112.3 percent increase for median prices.

Other neighborhoods that ranked highly for home price increases may not have experienced quite as significant a rise as the No. 1 and No. 2 neighborhoods, but their gains were nonetheless noteworthy. Vista E observed an increase of 38.6 percent, North Park increased 37.3 percent and Penasquitos increased 35.3 percent.

Luxury home values also increased in the second quarter. According to the First Republic Prestige Home Index from First Republic Bank, luxury home sales in San Diego rose 2.5 percent over the second quarter in 2011, with the average luxury home now valued at $1.65 million.