Single-family homes under construction by Pardee Homes in San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

San Diego home prices rose 1 percent between January and February, but the rapidly rising cost of a home is slowing sales.

The widely-followed Case-Shiller Index released Tuesday morning showed a 6.5 percent increase for the past year, well above the national average of 5.8 percent.

But high costs are slowing sales, with pending transactions in San Deigo down 5.6 percent in March following a 5.1 percent decline in February, the California Association of Realtors reported on Monday.

The Realtors said “a shortage of available homes and robust price growth that’s eating away at affordability stifled pending home sales for the third straight month” across California.

S&P CoreLogic, which produces the Case-Shiller index, agreed with that assessment.

“There are still relatively few existing homes listed for sale,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director. “Housing affordability has declined since 2012 as the pressure of higher prices has been a larger factor than stable to lower mortgage rates.”

Nationwide, the price increases were highest in February in Seattle, San Francisco and Dallas, with the Denver and Portland markets cooling off.

The Realtors said Southern California remained something of a bright spot within California, with the smallest decrease in pending sales in March.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.