Condominium for sale
A condominium for sale in Del Mar in October. Photo by Chris Jennewein

For the fourth month in a row, San Diego ranked among the top three U.S. metro areas in rate of home price increase, according to the widely-followed Case-Shiller report.

The report for October released Tuesday morning ranked San Diego third after Seattle and Las Vegas with an 8.1 percent rise over the past year. Prices in Seattle were up  12.7 percent and in Las Vegas 10.2 percent.

San Diego has been in third place since July, with the year-over-year increase over 7 percent and steadily rising.

“Home prices continue their climb supported by low inventories and increasing sales,” said David M. Blitzer, managing firector at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Nationally,
home prices are up 6.2 percent  in the 12 months to October, three times the rate of inflation.

“Underlying the rising prices for both new and existing homes are low interest rates, low unemployment and continuing economic growth,” he added.

But he said rising interest rates in 2018 and the fact that renting is becoming more competitive could slow the rise in home prices.

Aaron Terrazas, chief economist for the online real estate service Zillow, said new home building could also begin to rein in prices.

“Home builders have managed to start construction on more homes than at any point since prior to the recession, despite high and rising land, labor and materials costs,” he said. But for now, the fundamentals driving the market today look unlikely to change any time soon.”

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