San Diego Home Prices Grow at a Slower Rate

Home prices in San Diego County reached a post-Great Recession high in March, but are still slowing on an annual basis.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Index showed Tuesday that prices rose 1.3 percent from February to March. In the previous Case-Shiller report, San Diego County led the nation’s appreciation at 1 percent.

Still, San Diego County’s monthly upticks have not been enough to sustain big annual appreciation driven by the investor-related homebuying that dominated the first half of 2013. The index, which measures repeat sales of single-family homes, measured 199.6 in March, its eighth consecutive month in the 190-range after starting 2013 at 163.28.

“We’re hitting the upper numbers in terms of a recovery but we’re also hitting the limit in terms of affordability,” said Mark Goldman, a loan officer and real-estate lecturer at San Diego State University. Goldman said he sees annual gains on the index slowing to around 5 percent by the end of 2014 because of low inventory, flat household incomes and difficulty in qualifying for a mortgage, which currently offer historically low rates.

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