Local home listing prices dropped 20 percent in June

Second biggest dip among 35 major metro areas

Maybe some relief is coming for home buyers. San Diego County home price listings dropped 20 percent in June, according to Zillow.com. Among the 35 largest United States metro areas, the only larger drop was in Tampa, 22.2 percent.

San Diego’s 20 percent in June was up from a 12.3 percent drop in January and 12 percent a year ago. The median price decrease was 2.3 percent in June.

As earlier reported, the median price of San Diego homes is $583,700, and the median price of homes on the market is $650,000. Those are among the highest in the nation.

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"The bigger they are, the harder they fall."

Let's hope it's a soft deflate of a bad bubble and not a violent pop.

Cassander: Remember that it was only one month -- June. Other metro areas also experienced June declines of around 14 percent. Yes, we don't want a bloodbath. Best, Don Bauder

We all keep speculating about why home prices are so high here in light of average household incomes. When they soar, it is speculation driving the prices higher; when the speculators stop buying and start unloading, the prices seem to drop. Much of this runup-and-then-drop pattern is what is called "noise" in securities markets, which trade daily.

For reasons that are no longer clear to me, San Diego and environs is still seen as a sort of Paradise, and who will quibble about the price of a home in Heaven? None of this has made much economic sense in a very long time, and my only conclusion is that it isn't an economic matter at all. It all has to do with emotion and a desire for something that the place cannot really deliver. But SD comes closer to delivering than just about any other spot in the US, and that's "close enough."

This is the dark side of our tax money used to encourage more tourism. If you're a foreign investor in real estate, would you pick Lubbock or La Jolla?

Cassander: A lot of foreign money purchases homes in San Diego -- particularly condos in downtown San Diego. Many questions arise: is this laundered money? Are people purchasing these homes to get their money out of weak economies such as Russia and Mexico? Are the homes rented out most of the year? If they are, do the city and county collect adequate taxes on those homes? Best, Don Bauder

I've been saying that this is the case here (as it is in other major cities) for a long time. And the only solutions are to implement "foreign buyer" and "unoccupancy" taxes, so that outside capital no longer enjoys an unfair advantage and keeping these units empty won't be as profitable as putting them to rental use.

Cassander: A number of solutions have been put forward. This appears to be a good one. Best, Don Bauder

Visduh: Remember, coastal California has the highest home values in the U.S., generally -- L.A., Orange County, San Diego County, San Jose (Silicon Valley, the most expensive) and San Francisco. People will mortgage themselves to the hilt just to live in coastal California.

But keep in mind what happened in the late 2007-early 2009 bloodbath. San Diego home values plunged more than 40 percent. Values in other coastal California metro areas plummeted. Foreclosures abounded. But then the Federal Reserve lowered short term interest rates to zero in early 2009, and we had an artificially induced recovery, although a slow one. There could be a re-run: home values are extremely high once again and residential, corporate, and government debt are far too high. Unsustainably high? We don't know. What is the Fed going to do with all that debt it piled up when bailing out the system? Gulp. Best, Don Bauder

This is an interesting report. In one general report Zillow says there is a price drop, but in a more specific area prices are still rising as also reported by Zillow. Are both reports correct? Are these lower prices a trend or an aberration?

When I review home sales in my general neighborhood (10 mile diameter) I see homes remaining on the market longer than in the recent past, but prices climbing slightly in most cases. In a report of recent under the radar sales, a growing trend where transactions were kept as quiet as legally possible, sales remain strong. Seems more and more sellers are interested in not blaring out the transactions details of their new found wealth.

Anecdotally, Zillow predicts a reasonable 5-8% growth in home prices in my immediate neighborhood over their 2017 values. I expected a lower return of 3-5% which has already been obtained so it may be flat for the remainder of the calendar year.

Of course none of this isn’t very meaningful as we have no intention of selling anytime in the foreseeable future.

JustWondering: I didn't mean to imply that the home price drops in June portend a general decrease. Only 20 percent of the listings declined and the median decline was only 2.3 percent. As you point out, these data will vary sharply by location. Best, Don Bauder

Joe LaCava: Sorry to get you aroused. The item clearly states that the median decline was only 2.3 percent. Best, Don Bauder

Brittany Bailey MacIntosh: Possible the top headline was misleading. I will take the blame for that. Best, Don Bauder

Christopher O Carmichael: It's a bad headline and I will take the blame for it. Best, Don Bauder

Does anyone remember that real estate like business have cycles?

AlexClarke: Yes, and that particularly applies when measuring only one month. Best, Don Bauder

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