San Diego County buyers were unfazed by rising mortgage rates in March as the median home price hit a new high of $805,000.
Home prices were up 18.7 percent in a year, said CoreLogic/DQNews on Wednesday. The new median record — a combination of new and resale condos, townhouses and single-family homes — surpasses the previous peak in February of $775,000.
This story is for subscribers
We offer subscribers exclusive access to our best journalism.
Thank you for your support.
Prices rose sharply across Southern California in March as analysts and local real estate agents said buyers rushed to get into properties before mortgage rates climbed higher. The average rate in March for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.17 percent, its highest in nearly three years, said Freddie Mac.
The price for a resale single-family home in San Diego County could be nearing $1 million in the coming months. It reached a median — the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — of $925,000, up from the previous peak of $875,000 in February.
It’s possible March’s home market might represent the tail end of historic price increases. Mauricio Perez-Vazquez, an agent with Twenty Four Seven Realty, said homebuyers were still rushing to beat rising rates in most of March. But, as rates accelerated at the end of March and into April, he started to see a quick slowdown in buyers’ interest.
“It’s not saying much when you are going from 200 mph to 120 mph,” he said. “But we went from 15 to 20 offers on homes to seven or eight.”
Perez-Vazquez, who is also a director with San Diego-based National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, said potential buyers are increasingly pushed out of the market — in large part because of interest rates.
The average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 5.35 percent Tuesday morning, said Mortgage News Daily. The last time rates were that high was the summer of 2009. The rate is considerably up from December 2020’s average of 2.68 percent, which was the lowest in records going back to 1971.
Mark Goldman, a real estate analyst with C2 Financial Corp., said buyers saw rising interest rates and prices as a call to action in March. He said even with rising rates, it is unlikely to cause a drop in prices, but the pace of acceleration may slow.
“There’s still more buyers than sellers,” he said.
Goldman said until the number of homes for sale returns to somewhat normal levels, and homes sit on the market longer before selling, prices will continue to rise. There were 2,612 homes for sale from Feb. 28 to March 27, said the Redfin Data Center. That is up slightly from the start of the year but not much. Around the same time in 2021, there were 3,688 homes for sale; In 2020, 5,939 homes; and in 2019, 7,879 homes.
In March, 75.9 percent of homes were off the market in two weeks, said Redfin. It was 73.5 percent in 2021, 63.1 percent in 2020 and 47 percent in 2019.
In addition to single-family homes, resale condos have seen a significant rise in price. The median hit a record high of $640,000, up from February’s peak of $612,250. On an annual basis, condo/townhouse prices are up 28 percent, outpacing the 21.7 percent rise of single-family homes.
The newly built median was $741,000, but that figure combines condos, townhouses and single-family homes. A peak of $812,500 was set in October 2018 when there was an influx of luxury single-family homes for sale.
Here are some examples of homes that can be purchased around the median price in San Diego County:
- 4240 Gamma St: A 6,845-square-foot single-family home for sale for $805,000. The Logan Heights home has four bedrooms and three bathrooms and was built in 1952.
- 427 9th Ave., #1403: A downtown condo near Petco Park listed for $799,000. The 848-square-foot condo was built in 2005 and has one bedroom and one bathroom.
- 1650 Big Dipper Way: A 2,450-square-foot single-family house in San Ysidro listed for $800,000. It was built in 1978 and has five bedrooms and three bathrooms.
- 2362 Altisma Way, Unit A: A 1,429-square-foot condo in Carlsbad built in 1982 listed for $800,000. It has two bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms.
Price gains were up across Southern California in March. Orange County was up the most annually, 22.2 percent, for a median of $1 million.
It was followed by Riverside County, up 21.6 percent for a median of $580,000; San Diego County with the 18.7 percent rise; Ventura County, up 17.5 percent to $775,000; San Bernardino County, up 15.1 percent to a median of $495,000; and Los Angeles County, up 12 percent to $840,000.