San Diego – Toilet to tap halted by judge

San Diego’s $4 billion plan to boost the city’s water independence is facing delays and cost increases thanks to a legal dispute over the use of unionized construction workers.

A judge issued an injunction in June that halted the project, a recycling system called “Pure Water” that would purify treated sewage into drinking water and supply one-third of the city’s water supply by 2035.

The injunction, which San Diego officials estimate is costing them $4 million a month, was prompted by a city compromise that requires union workers on some Pure Water projects and allows union and non-union workers on others.

The San Diego chapter of the Associated General Contractors, a coalition of contractors, contends the city’s compromise favors union workers. It filed suit in May claiming the compromise violates a successful 2012 city ballot measure that regulates the use of union workers on projects.

Superior Court Judge John Meyer agreed, issuing a preliminary injunction that forced city officials to halt soliciting bids for Pure Water projects and to begin exploring their legal options.

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San Diego – Home prices down annually for first time in 7 years… but sales are up

San Diego County’s median home price in August was down annually for the first time in seven years, albeit a small reduction, real estate tracker CoreLogic said Wednesday.

The median price of $584,000 was down 0.1 percent from the same time last year at $584,500. The last time prices were down year-over-year was March 2012.

On the flip side, there were signs the housing market was picking up in August. There were 3,835 home sales, up 1.9 percent from the same time last year. That’s after annual sale declines for the majority of the year.

San Diego County is not alone in the slowdown, with sluggish price gains across the nation — especially in high cost markets — for most of the year. Analysts have cited affordability constraints, changes in the tax code and comparatively slower wage growth as reasons.

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San Diego annual home price gains up as of July

Home prices were up 2 percent annually in the San Diego metropolitan area as of July, said the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released Tuesday.

The increase was a slight turn of fortunes for the market, which has had annual gains of around 1 percent since January. Still, it is a far cry from the heyday of price increases the last couple of years. In July 2018, San Diego home prices were up 6.2 percent in a year.

Home price gains have slowed nationwide, up 3.2 percent in a year, with experts pointing to affordability issues as the main culprit. The most expensive markets have the most slothful gains, and Seattle has seen prices decline 0.6 percent.

Among California metro areas, San Diego had the biggest annual gains. San Francisco prices were up 0.2 percent in a year, and Los Angeles up 1.1 percent.

Some of the markets hit hardest by the Great Recession are now seeing the biggest boosts. Phoenix metro area gains were up 5.8 percent, followed by Las Vegas at 4.7 percent and San Francisco at 0.2 percent.

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