San Diego home prices continue to rise faster than the national average, but the rate of increase slowed in February, according to the widely-followed Case-Shiller index.
The latest report, released Tuesday morning, showed a 6.4 percent annual rate in February, compared to the national average of 5.3 percent. However, San Diego prices rose only 0.1 percent rise in February, down from 0.5 percent in January.
“Home prices continue to rise twice as fast as inflation, but the pace is easing off in the most recent numbers,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director of S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Six cities experienced smaller monthly gains in February compared to January…Among the six were Seattle, Portland and San Diego, all of which were very strong last time.”
Prices in some cities have grown much faster than in San Diego. Portland, Seattle, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains in February at 11.9 percent, 11.0 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively.
The online real estate marketplace Zillow cautioned that even with a slowing in price increases, there are challenges for first-time home buyers.
“Home prices continue to rise, although more slowly, at a largely sustainable clip. But a deeper look at recent housing trends reveals a few troubling issues set to impact first-time and move-up buyers in the critical months ahead,” said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell.
“Heading into spring, buyers looking for the most expensive homes will find somewhat softening prices, a larger selection of homes to choose from and more limited competition,” she said. “Entry-level and mid-market buyers — typically the housing market’s bread and butter — are likely to face stiff competition, rapidly rising prices and very limited inventory.”
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