A home for sale in City Heights. Photo by Chris Stone
A home for sale in City Heights. Photo by Chris Stone

Home prices in the San Diego metropolitan area surged 1.8% in December and were up 25.9% for all of 2021, according to the authoritative Case-Shiller report on Tuesday.

San Diego and Miami tied for the biggest jump in housing prices in December, but Phoenix and Tampa led for the entire year with increases of 32.5% and 29.4%, respectively.

Craig J. Lazzara, managing director for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the increase in home prices across the nation was the highest in 34 years of Case-Shiller Index data.

“We have noted that for the past several months, home prices have been rising at a very high, but decelerating rate,” Lazzara said, but “the deceleration paused in December.”

Zillow Senior Economist Kwame Donaldson said the surge in December “should encourage more supply in the short run,” but cautioned that “rising mortgage rates, reduced fiscal support from the federal government, and leveling job growth will ease home sales growth and appreciation” in 2022.

Lazzara said there are indications that the housing market is being driven by a widespread move to the suburbs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“More data will be required to understand whether this demand surge simply represents an acceleration of purchases that would have occurred over the next several years rather than a more permanent secular change,” he said.

The Case-Shiller Index is released on the last Tuesday of each month with data through two months prior.

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