House for sale in La Mesa. Photo by Chris Stone
House for sale in La Mesa. Photo by Chris Stone

Home prices in San Diego County rose for the second month in a row in March, as nationwide data suggested the housing slump that began in mid 2022 is coming to the end, according to the widely-followed Case Shiller Index released Tuesday.

Local home prices rose 2.5% in March following a 1.5% uptick in February, though they remain 5.3% lower than in March 2022.

“Two months of increasing prices do not a definitive recovery make, but March’s results suggest that the decline in home prices that began in June 2022 may have come to an end,” said Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

He noted that prices rose in March in all 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

Home prices had declined the most in the West, with the Southeast having the strongest real estate market.

Lazzara cautioned that “the challenges posed by current mortgage rates and the continuing possibility of economic weakness are likely to remain a headwind for housing prices for at least the next several months.”

Zillow Senior Economist Nicole Bachaud attributed the higher prices to low inventory and expressed hope that residential construction would pick up.

“Low inventory, maintained by an extremely low level of new listings coming onto the market, has fueled demand amongst the few buyers who can afford to stay shopping,” she said. “As a result, prices started picking back up on a monthly basis in early 2023 following months of price stagnation and declines.”

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