Cost per square foot fluctuates in central San Diego County

With a growing number of homes for sale in San Diego, the local resale market has been improving for potential buyers. As the average cost per square foot – a measurement  by which homes are commonly compared in real estate dealings – increases, the real estate market is becomes more competitive in San Diego County. The San Diego Union Tribune reported that the price of resale houses rose 13 percent in November to a median value of $390,000.

According to DataQuick, a San Diego-based firm that monitors local real estate trends and housing prices, the November 2012 cost per square foot of $219 marks a 10.6 percent difference from the $198 price at the same time during 2011. To account for the discrepancy, DataQuick explained that the median home size has also increased over the past year. While the average home was 1,742 square feet in 2011, this figure grew to 1,780 square feet in 2012.

“If it’s well above the community average, you would want to take a step and see what the factors are,” Donna Sanfilippo, a local real estate expert, said to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Across the more than 90 zip codes in San Diego County, the average price per square foot had a very wide range. The following central San Diego County neighborhoods saw increases in various real estate costs between 2011 and 2012.

Coronado is a small beach community located just off the coast of San Diego that boasts a distinctive island feeling. Hailed as “The Crown City,” Coronado has the atmosphere of a charming ocean village with pristine beaches, bicycle paths, recreation facilities and golf courses. At $690 per square foot, housing costs in Coronado have risen by 11.7 percent.

University City
University City is an active community that houses many high-tech, clean-tech and biotech businesses and related research institutes. Known as San Diego’s economic engine, the area is located between La Jolla, Interstate 805 and State Route 52. Many residents here are affiliated with the local businesses or attend school at the University of California, San Diego. At $353 per square foot as of the end of 2012, housing costs in University City have risen by 4.2 percent.

La Jolla
La Jolla is a hilly seaside town with many affluent residents. Located on the Pacific Coast in the northern city limits of San Diego, La Jolla embodies southern California high culture with luxurious amenities, stunning views and an air of indulgence. At $868 per square foot, housing costs in La Jolla have risen by 34.8 percent.

Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach is one of the oldest communities in San Diego. Residents here are passionate about maintaining a unique balance of quaint neighborhood attractions with new economic developments, allowing Ocean Beach to keep its laidback, hippy vibe. With local farmers markets, pedestrian friendly infrastructure, and friendly residents, Ocean Beach has a unique feeling compared to other San Diego communities. At $470 per square foot, housing costs in Ocean Beach have experienced a recent 16.7 percent spike.

Real estate experts in San Diego note that if a home in a certain community is significantly more expensive than the area's median price, such properties may still represent viable housing options. While the cost per square foot is an acceptable base measurement, it does not account for the features of an individual home. Properties that have received extensive upgrades, offer better amenities or other unique features may be more expensive, but will nonetheless stand out as desirable homes in the community.