August home prices fell across San Diego.

Sales rose, likely because of end-of-the season buying, ‘bottom-feeding’.

August home prices in San Diego County fell and sales jumped, a likely result of end-of season buying and “continued robust bottom-feeding” of inventory, according to Wednesday’s DataQuick report.

One of the model homes homes in Carmel Valley at Hampton Lane in Pacific Highlands Ranch. 

One of the model homes homes in Carmel Valley at Hampton Lane in Pacific Highlands Ranch. — Howard Lipin / Union-Tribune staff

 Last month’s median price for all home types was $320,000, down 1.5 percent from July and down 5 percent from a year ago. August marked the 27th straight month the county’s median price, the midpoint, ranged $300,000 to $340,000. San Diego’s peak was $517,500 in Nov. 2005.

As prices fell, sales went up in August, a trend that aligns with the rest of Southern California. The county recorded 3,249 transactions, up 6.8 percent from July and up 4.4 percent from the same time last year.

It was the first time since November 2009 all six Southern California counties in DataQuick’s monthly report posted year-over-year sales increases.

DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage said August is usually among the stronger sales months because families often want to move before the school year begins. Another reason for higher numbers this year: Last summer’s sales decreased dramatically after the expiration of homebuyer tax credits offered by the state and federal governments.

“Scratch beneath the surface and there’s not a lot to cheer about this month,” said DataQuick President John Walsh, in a statement. “Home sales were up from a year earlier but remained far below average.”

The same challenges linger for potential homebuyers, including inability to secure home financing and being under-water on their mortgages.

Walsh added: “Financial markets are increasingly choppy, the political outlook is incredibly murky and consumer confidence remains poor. Needless to say, it’s not an environment ripe for stabilizing the housing market.”

Another challenge, least for prices, is the county’s high number of distressed sales. About 47 percent of county home resales in August were either foreclosures or short sales, according to DataQuick numbers.

September 14, 2011 -via reporter Lily Leung


view dataquick report:


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