Sunday, November 28, 2010

San Diego Home Affordability Index Improved

When someone says to me, "that house just isn't worth what they are asking for" and the house is well below the comparable home prices, my first question is, where are you from originally? Not meaning this in a bad way, but when I hear that comment I know they are from a different part of the United States.

Yes home prices in San Diego County seem outrageous to people relocating from Michigan, Florida, and even from people as close as El Centro, where the home prices are up to a 1/4th of the price. However, I quickly remind them that the prices in San Francisco and New York are a lot more and it rains twice as much." I also remind them that they are paying for the weather here in Sunny Southern California.

According to the Union Tribune San Diego's housing affordability has actually improved in the third quarter. Data showed that 51.5% percent of households making a median income of $75,500 can now afford to buy a $325,000 median priced home. The affordability index has improved since May, when San Diego ranked 11th with only 46.6% able to buy.

Looking at the history of the National Association of Home Builders Housing Opportunity index in San Diego, we have come a long way from the fourth quarter in 2005, when San Diego ranked 7th with only 3.6% able to afford the $500,000 medium priced home and to the other extreme last year when San Diego ranked 25th with home prices at $270,000.

While San Diego County is now ranked the 12th least affordable market in the United States, we are still considerably more affordable than New York, who ranked the least affordable with only 22.6% able to buy a $435,000 median priced home, and San Francisco ranking second with only 28% able to afford the $600,000 median priced home.

With California having 7 of the top 10 least affordable cities, you are probably wondering where is the most affordable housing. Drum roll please.....Kokomo, Indiana was the most affordable with 96.1% able to afford the median price home $83,000 with a median household income of $61,400. However, remember while San Diego has an average rainfall of 7" compared to Kokomo with an average 40" and not to mention the average snow fall of around 22".

With low interest rates and the risk of prices falling behind us, economist, David Crowe, fears that San Diego may grow less affordable in the future; however, he also sees rising prices ironically representing a sign of a better housing market to come.

--Virginia Hall
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Direct (619)258-8585