San Diego home prices in April to outpace nation, state

San Diego County home prices in April continued to outpace the rest of the state and nation for the third month in a row, said the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released Tuesday.

The indices, adjusted for seasonal swings, showed San Diego County home prices rose 6.6 percent in a year. Prices increased 5.5 percent nationwide, down from 5.8 percent in March and missing some analysts’ expectations.

Los Angeles prices increased 5.3 percent in the same time period and San Francisco by 5 percent. Of the 20 major regions followed by the indices, San Diego ranked No. 8 in April, above Chicago, New York, Miami, Washington, D.C., and other markets.

Low mortgage rates and lack of homes for sale throughout the nation are continuing to push prices up, wrote David Blitzer, managing chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in the monthly report.

“The question is not if home prices can climb without any limit; they can’t,” he wrote. “Rather, will home price gains gently slow or will they crash and take the economy down with them?”

Blitzer wrote that a crash will likely be avoided, at the moment, because housing starts are trending higher and rising prices may encourage some owners to sell. Also, nationwide outstanding mortgage debt — $14.4 trillion — is about $400 billion below the record set in 2008.

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