I was out today, but we should cover the San Diego Case-Shiller Index, which dropped for the first time in 15 months.

Isn’t that to be expected?  The changes over the last few months have been very small – January’s reading was a scant +0.1% – and we’ve been expecting it to bump up and down for the foreseeable future.

A few years back, Rob Dawg said that because of the extraordinary nature of this collapse, we should question all of our theories and assumptions from now on. 

My first thought was that if prices did continue going down, it would be great for sales – more buyers would be interested in getting a lower-priced deal.

But as we’ve seen, without more of the better-priced foreclosed properties, we’re left with just retail, or retail-plus offerings (sellers with big equity/lo mo, flippers, and needs-based pricing).

If prices went down, sales could get worse, not better.  A downward pricing trend, interest rates, qualifying, etc. – none of those matters if nobody wants to sell for what the market will bear.

Sales are looking a little soft too – here are the San Diego County detached numbers from the MLS:

April, 2010:  1,886, $248/sf

March, 2011:  1,845, $234/sf

April, 2011:  1,250, $246/sf

The rest of the week will see more closings (there were 319 that closed over the last three business days of March, 2011) but it’ll take a big push to catch last month.  If it keeps going this way (downward trend for pricing and sales) then the media will want to believe that there is no demand – when it’s far from that now, at least around NSDCC.


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Jim the Realtor
Jim is a long-time local realtor who comments daily here on his blog, bubbleinfo.com which began in September, 2005. Stick around!

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