For sale sign
A for sale sign in San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego home prices continued their recent rebound in March, rising 1.2 percent from February, according to the respected Case-Shiller report released Tuesday morning.

Home prices began rising again in San Diego early in the year after six months of declines, increasing 1.0 percent from January to February. For the past 12 months, San Diego prices are up just 1.3 percent.

However, the national trend continues to be down, with home prices across the United States up only 0.6 percent from February to March and 3.7 percent for the preceding 12 months.

“Home price gains continue to slow,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, which produces the Case-Shiller report. “The patterns seen in the last year or more continue: year-over-year price gains in most cities are consistently shrinking. Double-digit annual gains have vanished.”

Blitzer said the falloff in home prices was surprising given the overall state of the economy.

“Given the broader economic picture, housing should be doing better,” he said. “Mortgage rates are at 4 percent for a 30-year fixed rate loan, unemployment is close to a 50-year low, low inflation and moderate increases in real incomes would be expected to support a strong housing market.”

The online real estate site Zillow suggested buyers have reached a “breaking point” despite the overall economy.

“Buyers have hit a breaking point in what they’re willing to pay, even with low mortgage rates and even in places where incomes are high,” said Zillow economic analyst Matthew Speakman. “Sellers are having to make price cuts more often than before, despite continued restraints on inventory.”

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Chris Jennewein

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