Home for salet
A home for sale in Hillcrest in December. Staff photo

San Diego home prices fell in January for the eighth straight month, though the decline was less than the national average, according to the authoritative Case-Shiller Index released Tuesday.

The index showed a 0.4% decline, slightly less than the 0.5% national average.

But local prices are now 1.3% lower than a year ago, meaning homeowners have lost all price appreciation over the past year.

“January’s market weakness was broadly based,” said Craig J. Lazzara, managing director of S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Nineteen cities registered a decline.”

He noted “the continued weakness in home prices on the West Coast, as San Diego and Portland joined San Francisco and Seattle in negative year-over-year territory.”

The Southeast remains the country’s strongest region with a 10.2% increase in prices over the past year, according to the index, while the West is the weakest with a 1.5% decline.

Lazzara said high interest rates and the prospect of a recession will “remain a headwind for housing prices for at least the next several months.”

But Zillow, the online real estate service, was more optimistic, with Senior Economist Jeff Tucker saying other data in January “showed the first indications of a spring thaw in the New Year.”

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