San Diego home sales drop to lowest level in 11 years – Price also dips

San Diego County home sales dropped 17.5 percent to the lowest level in 11 years for a September in the first significant sign of a slowdown in the market, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

Last month, 2,942 homes sold in the county, down from 3,568 sales a year ago. It was the lowest number of sales for a September since just before the Great Recession when 2,152 sold in September 2007. Also, last month’s median home price dropped to $575,000 — the first decrease since January — after hitting an all-time high of $583,000 in August.

Most experts attributed the slowdown to a rise in mortgage interest rates, and the sale price reduction to potential buyers balking at higher monthly payments.

“Mortgage rates (are) another thing that is going to add cost, and temper demand,” said Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia. “Rates are hovering around a seven-year high so people are really, possibly, taking a step back before they jump into home buying.”

Chandler said buyers should begin to feel more empowered because they now have more leverage after years of facing a sellers’ market.

Other reports released Tuesday also signaled a slowing market. The closely watched S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices showed the resale home market in the San Diego metropolitan area losing momentum.

In San Diego metro, resale single-family home prices in August increased 4.8 percent in a year, the fifth lowest out of the 20 cities studied. Las Vegas prices went up the most, 10.6 percent, and San Francisco the second highest at 10.6 percent.

The nationwide yearly price increase was 5.8 percent, the first time it fell below 6 percent in 12 months.

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