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What's Going On in the San Diego Real Estate Market?

Industry Observer with Retired

There are certainly a number of conflicting reports out there and it might be helpful to give a clarifying perspective of the current market and what Buyers and Sellers are observing. For starters, the headlines report that rents are at all-time highs, home prices are skyrocketing, low inventory and new home sales have dropped significantly in the last few months. 

From my perspective, San Diego has been undervalued for quite a long time. We have homes to buy though and the best ones go pretty fast for top dollar. And rightly so. Homeowners over the years have gotten a lot smarter about their property. Putting in equity, sweat or $$, has proven to be a smart decision.

For years, one could rent a 2 bedroom, 2 bath property for about $700/$750 a month. Not anymore. That same property today could range from $1500 to well over $2000 a month. Aside from work, life in San Diego takes place a lot of the time, outdoors. We have miles and miles of beautiful beaches, sunshine most of the year, and more things to do and events to attend than most of us can even begin to consider. Considering the real quality of life here, maybe those rents are in line with that quality of life. The rents also raise the question about owning a home for about the same cost of rent. The availability of low-cost financing should certainly be an incentive to consider Buying instead of renting.

New home sales have fallen off some. No doubt that is likely true but there may be a reason. There are not enough new homes in areas where people want to live. It takes vacant land first before new home developments can be considered. Many of the available parcels of land are well outside of current living centers. This makes a case for builders to consider purchasing in older neighborhoods and replacing as well as densifying the areas with condominiums and townhomes. 

Sellers are getting top dollar for homes that have been carefully improved. A decade ago, home flipping was a major consideration for investors. We are now seeing that concept return and for the future homeowner, it is an even better concept to consider for themselves. What's the best home to consider restyling for today's living needs? The one with the "best location". That was always the rule to follow and it is no less true today. 

So where does all of this lead? It leads to San Diego and a vibrant market that while changing is only getting better and better. High prices with a high value is a good thing. Higher rents more in accordance with the quality of life, another good thing. Low inventory is a matter of perspective. No home is perfect but making an average home better and more accommodating to the needs of the owners with good improvements, it another very good thing. 

It goes without saying that San Diego may be too expensive for some. So is New York or San Francisco or a myriad of other major cities. Factoring in city infrastructure, parks, and recreation centers, it is not the small community for the quiet living it once was. San Diego is a continually growing robust area with so much activity and so many amenities that price by necessity has become secondary to the quality of life. 





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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi William

So nice to hear from you on one of our favorite subjects, the real estate market here in America's finest city. No doubt many who live here, or wish to move here, are all about the lifestyle San Diego provides and are willing, if they can afford it, pay the price to live here and enjoy our outdoor lifestyle, beaches, recreation and so much more. There is something about that sunshine tax we hear about!


Sep 27, 2016 07:49 AM
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA

Hi Jeff Dowler , I certainly agree. If we could just harness all that sunshine, we could sell some of it as a commodity, 

Sep 27, 2016 09:08 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

 It's obvious to see that you know the San Diego housing market inside out 

William Johnson 

Sep 27, 2016 11:30 AM
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA

Hi Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, Broker, Tacoma Washington , I think the passion and knowledge that comes from so many years of doing what I love. With many news reports pointing to the issues that are really not all that different from other cities, they can certainly be confusing as many do not line up that well with  professional experience. I think Sellers and Buyers are better served by getting their advise from experienced professionals that actually understand the nuances of their respective markets.

Sep 27, 2016 11:53 AM
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi William - That's an excellent overview for the San Diego real estate market. A thoughtful explanation from an expert will always provide a greater understanding than just a bunch of numbers.

Sep 28, 2016 04:32 AM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 602.710.8161 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Insightful market report, Sellers and Buyers will benefit from your knowledge of the market and trends, when they connect with you.

Oct 26, 2016 01:20 AM