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San Diego – Free wildfire safety workshop start tomorrow

Hot, dry summer weather means an increased risk of wildfire — in residential areas as well as wildlands. The Fire Safe Council of San Diego County is offering “Fire Operations in the Wildland Urban Interface,” several free workshops focusing on the particular risks of residential areas that are next to open space, which is called the Wildland Urban Interface.

The workshops are:

— 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Warner Springs Elementary School, 30951 Highway 79, Warner Springs. Hosted by the Los Tules/Warner Springs Fire Safe Council.

– 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 24, Fire Station 79 – Palomar Mountain, 21610 Crestline Road, Palomar Mountain. Hosted by the Palomar Mountain Fire Safe Council.

— 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25, Lake Morena Community Church, 29765 Oak Drive, Campo. Hosted by the Real East County Fire Safe Council.

Lunch and light breakfast will be provided.

The one-day workshops are free to local residents, representatives of Community Fire Safe Councils and CERT members. Participants will learn the principles used by firefighters to suppress wildland fires and protect structures in the Wildland Urban Interface.

The in-depth courses also teach fire behavior prediction and how to apply this knowledge to the community’s topography, fuels and weather, as well as the fire-safe condition of homes. Attendees will also learn valuable survival tips in the event of a fire.

The courses will be delivered by Thomas Shoots, Cal Fire/San Diego County Fire Authority.

Registration is required. To register, visit the “Events” page of the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County website:; or contact Britney Munoz at (619) 562-0096 or

San Diego home price gains lowest in nation for 4th month

San Diego metro prices gains were the lowest in the nation for fourth month in a row on the 20-city index. It was tied with Los Angeles metro, also at 1.3 percent, joining other expensive markets in substantial drops.

Analysts point to modest wage gains and prices going up too quickly as reasons why buyers are staying out of the market. Nationwide price gains were still nearly double the rate of inflation at 3.7 percent, although that is down from 6.5 percent at the same time last year.

“Given the broader economic picture, housing should be doing better,” wrote David Blitzer, managing director of the index. “Mortgage rates are at 4 percent for a 30-year fixed rate loan, unemployment is close to a 50-year low, (there is) low inflation and moderate increases in real incomes would be expected to support a strong housing market.”

The last time home price increases in San Diego metro were as slow was summer 2012. Yet prices are still going up, unlike the Great Recession when prices were down annually by double digits. In October 2008, home prices were down 26.67 percent year-over-year.

Lower cost markets across the United States saw the biggest gains in March. Prices were up 8.2 percent in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, 6.1 percent in Phoenix, 5.3 percent in Tampa and 4.7 percent in Atlanta.

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San Diego Home Sales Down 8.6%

Median home prices are basically flat from last year, said CoreLogic. Sales remain low on a year-over-year basis in San Diego County and throughout California.

San Diego County’s home sales were down for the 11th month in a row in March, but home prices were still up slightly.

The median home price was $555,000 in March, said real estate tracker CoreLogic, a gain of 0.9 percent in a year. That’s down from a peak of $584,750 reached in August. In March, there were 3,224 home sales, down 8.6 percent from the same time a year ago.

Much of the slowdown has been attributed to rising mortgage rates, which started to move up in the latter part of 2018. Even with interest rates lowering substantially the first four months of 2019 though, buyers still face high prices in San Diego County, said Mark Goldman, an analyst with C2 Financial Corp.

“We still have affordability issues,” he said. “Wages aren’t going up, so that is going to stifle pricing.”

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