As we saw in the last video, people are out buying houses! Are they reading articles like this one today in the U-T and figuring now’s the time?
San Diego County’s housing market was the strongest in the nation in February, the widely watched Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index reported Tuesday.
The price index for San Diego was up 0.6 percent from January, the only market out of 20 surveyed nationally with an increase. The index locally was up 7.6 percent from February 2009, second only to San Francisco.
Those who have a deep desire to buy will shrug off the overly-negative blogs and gravitate to glowing reports in the mainstream media. People want to buy, and they tend to focus on news that supports that decision.
Alan Gin, an economist at the University of San Diego, was at a loss to explain San Diego’s Case-Shiller numbers.
“It’s very unusual that every other market is down,” Gin said, noting that the unemployment rate of 11 percent here is worse than the national average.
The Case-Shiller figures indicated that prices were up in the top and bottom thirds of the local market but down in the middle, priced between $308,000 and $461,500. Gin speculated that’s because there are relatively few bottom-end sellers to buy mid-level move-ups.
To the layman, Alan is a familar authority because he gets quoted every month, right or wrong. When he can’t explain the appearance of a stronger market, people want to read it as good news too. As he notes, the local unemployment hasn’t slowed down the real estate market, and even with the Fed out of the MBS business the mortgage rates are holding – if they just stay in the 5% to 6% range, we should be alright.
Sellers will have to get off their high horse and lower their unrealistic list-prices as the spring/summer market unwinds, but if there are still enough buyers with cash and jobs, there doesn’t appear to be any other obvious bad news coming our way to stop them from buying.
It would take a major unforeseen event to rattle the market over the next few months, because the reports keep coming out positive. Your not going to see any real estate companies or financial institutions issuing any report to the contrary – most everyone is talking it up now. Tread carefully.