San Diego home prices up

With recent uncertainty about the strength of San Diego's housing market recovery, people looking at real estate in San Diego will be happy to learn that home prices are on the mend. The most recent Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index was released, and it covered the top 20 metros in the country - including San Diego - for the month of July. The report indicated that all 20 cities saw home price increases from June to July, the third month in a row that this has happened.

The index showed that San Diego County home prices are up for the sixth month in a row - a 1.1 percent uptick from June to July. This was also the first month that the San Diego area saw a year-over-year increase - a 0.8 percent increase in July when compared to July 2011.

A recent article in the San Diego Union-Tribune explained that the reason S&P takes longer to release its housing numbers than other industry players is that its index includes repeat sales, and that consideration produces the two-month lag. The source additionally cited the more current report from DataQuick, which showed the median home price in San Diego County at $345,250. This is the highest value in a four-year period.

Seeking Alpha recently cited the Case-Shiller Index and provided some additional analysis. The source stated, "Even though we've seen a nice bounce in home prices across the country, most cities still have a long, long way to go to get back to the highs seen in the mid-2000s."

San Diego saw an 8.3 percent change from the most recent lows, which occurred in 2009, reported in the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, and puts the metro in the middle of the pack of the top 20 metros studied. The source additionally revealed that San Diego is roughly 37 percent off from its all-time high tracked by the index. The county's home prices peaked in 2005.

Another recent article, from LoanSafe, indicated that the number of foreclosures and other distressed properties has declined, with the foreclosure rate falling in both Southwest Riverside and North San Diego. The fall in foreclosures could be partially responsible for the improvement in home prices, as there are less foreclosed homes on the market that are dragging down the median price.