Housing supply decreases in San Diego County, data shows

Although homebuying typically tapers off during the fall season, trends show that the quest for houses for sale in San Diego did not decrease in the city in the autumn months. DataQuick numbers show a 13 percent increase in home sales from September to October, which reach a total of more than 3,600 properties, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

“Watching the market rebalance itself is fascinating,” John Walsh, president of DataQuick, told the Union-Tribune. “In some categories and in some neighborhoods, demand outstrips supply, pushing up prices. In other areas, the market is still largely dormant. Low interest rates are a huge factor, where mortgages are available, which they aren’t for a lot of potential buyers.”

Experts view this phenomenon as being unprecedented because nothing like it has occurred in the past. The closest percentage jump from September to October occurred in 2007, when an 8.1 percent increase was noted. While homebuying activity usually drops at a modest rate around the year-end holiday season, 2012 buyers are not taking much of a break.

There are two San Diego neighborhoods that have experienced more change than the others. Tierrasanta - located in central San Diego County - and Julian - located in North County - were among the areas that saw price increases. Although still at the first-time homebuyer level, the median price in Tierrasanta rose to $350,000, while the price in Julian rose to $169,500. 

However, despite the improving conditions, data shows that there is a decrease in the number of properties available throughout the county. While some neighborhoods are seeing more inventory than usual, others do not have many homes available. In both of these scenarios, bidding becomes more competitive because prospective buyers are willing to increase the overbid over and over to ensure they get the home of their dreams. In San Diego County, there were only 5,300 properties for sale, which notes an approximately 50 percent decrease over the same time a year before.

One of the reasons for the lower inventory numbers is a substantial decline in the number of foreclosed properties in the county. Experts believe that the housing supply here has been getting smaller and smaller over the past few years, many residents have fallen prey to negative equity and foreclosure stocks that prevent them from putting their homes on the market.