San Diego Case-Shiller Index, Dec

After mortgage rates went up in 2022, the local Case-Shiller Index was jarred with a 12.1% drop over the subsequent eight months. The end of 2023 held up much better, logging only a slight decline of -1.4% in the last three months of the year:

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5.5% annual gain in December, up from a 5.0% rise in the previous month. The 10-City Composite showed an increase of 7.0%, up from a 6.3% increase in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a year-over-year increase of 6.1%, up from a 5.4% increase in the previous month.

San Diego reported the highest year-over-year gain among the 20 cities with an 8.8% increase in December, followed by Los Angeles and Detroit, each with an 8.3% increase. Portland showed a 0.3% increase this month, holding the lowest rank after reporting the smallest year-over-year growth.

“U.S. home prices faced significant headwinds in the fourth quarter of 2023,” says Brian D. Luke, Head of Commodities, Real & Digital Assets at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “However, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices continued its streak of seven consecutive record highs in 2023.”

“2023 U.S. housing gains haven’t followed such a synchronous pattern since the COVID housing boom. The term ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ seems appropriate given broad-based performance in the U.S. housing sector. All 20 markets reported yearly gains for the first time this year, with four markets rising over 8%. Portland eked out a positive annual gain after 11 months of declines. Regionally, the Midwest and Northeast both experienced the greatest annual appreciation with 6.7%.”

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, November

After seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index and the 10-City Composite posted month-over-month increases of 0.2%, while the 20-City Composite posted a month-over-month increase of 0.1%.

“U.S. home prices edged downward from their all-time high in November,” says Brian D. Luke, Head of Commodities, Real & Digital Assets at S&P DJI. “The streak of nine monthly gains ended in November, setting the index back to levels last seen over the summer months. Seattle and San Francisco reported the largest monthly declines, falling 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively.”

“November’s year-over-year gain saw the largest growth in U.S. home prices in 2023, with our National Composite rising 5.1% and the 10-city index rising 6.2%. Detroit held its position as the best performing market for the third month in a row, accelerating to an 8.2% gain. San Diego notched an 8% annual gain, retaining its second spot in the nation. Barring a late surge from another market, those cities will vie for the ‘housing market of the year’ as the best performing city in our composite.”

“Six cities registered a new all-time high in November (Miami, Tampa, Atlanta, Charlotte, New York, and Cleveland). Portland remains the lone market in annual decline. The Northeast and Midwest recorded the largest gains with returns of 6.4% and 6.3%, respectively. Other regions are not far behind with the slowest gains in the West of 3%. This month’s report revealed the narrowest spread of performance across the nation since the first quarter of 2021.”


The decline in the local index is picking up speed, but it’s not falling as fast as it was last year.

Who cares – September, October, and November were forever ago.

Either a house has been improved to sell and gets a lot of attention, or it sits.

Take our listing here:

Judging by the statistics, Zillow thinks this house should sell fast, a smaller house down the street just had seven offers and sold over $1,400,000, and we are up to NINE offers on our similarly-priced new listing. But here the owner refused to do staging, in spite of our recommendation – and they have bought and sold three other houses with us!

The impact? Only two people came to the open house on Saturday, and we haven’t sniffed an offer.

Buyers don’t have the vision or patience to imagine what a house could be – they are attracted to those homes who have already done the work for them. At these prices, you can’t blame them!

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, October

Last year, the index was falling faster than this year (another good sign going into 2024). There might be some noise in the next three readings, but the second half of 2023 should wind up flat at worst.

The index dropped 11% in the second half of 2022, and currently the second half of 2023 is +1.1%.

The October index is 2% below the all-time high in May, 2022, and is +68% from when this blog started!

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, September

Ok, ok – yesterday I said that we’re at the highest pricing ever, but the San Diego non-seasonally-adjusted Case-Shiller Index isn’t quite there yet.

But it feels like record pricing around the north county coastal region, doesn’t it?

The index dropped eight months in a row last year, and it might track negatively over the next few readings of 2023 – big whoop. The index gave back 11% last year, and we’ve regained all but 2% of it this year.  It is a seasonal event that will probably repeat in the coming years.

If the pricing keeps trending upward in 2024, at least it should be somewhat offset by lower mortgage rates this time. The quick rise in rates in the middle to late 2022 had to be reflected in the pricing, which it was. But this year, pricing held up nicely in spite of touching 8% rates recently.

I’m predicting an increase in listings next year, and it could amount to a full-blown surge. I already have three listings lined up for early-2024, which has never happened this early – there have been years where I get well into January without sniffing a new listing!

I’ll survey my fellow agents over the next couple of weeks to see what they say – two have already agreed!

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, August

The local index increased to 419.08 in August, and is angling towards the all-time high of 427.80 reached in May, 2022. Even if the increases slow the rest of the year, we should get back into record territory by the time the 2024 home-selling season begins.

The San Diego index dropped 11% between May, 2022 and January, 2023, and has risen 11% since!

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, July

The local index is about where it was last month AND last year at this time.

It is 3% below the peak of last May, and +9.6% year-to-date.

It wouldn’t surprise me if it slides downward ~3% the rest of 2023, then up ~3% in the first half of 2024, then down ~3% in the second half of 2024….recession or not.

Because rates won’t be going down until 2025 (at least), pricing should stay rangebound. Without wild swings in pricing, the buyers can focus on finding the perfect home without compromise.

When there are bidding wars and rapidly-rising prices, buyers are prone to just grabbing something and paying whatever it takes. Without those, sellers and agents have to be really good at selling homes – which hasn’t been required over the last several years.

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, June

Higher mortgage rates caused the San Diego Case-Shiller index to take a tumble last summer. The decline moderated towards the end of the year and bottomed in January.

Since then, it went up 9.3%, which is pretty good appreciation for five months!

July and August will be hot too, but we are overdue for a break. It should mellow out for the rest of 2023.

Be prepared for a fast start in 2024. The market should be at full speed in February, which is contrary to the wait-and-see approach I expected as the frenzy was winding down. The frenzy conditions are still around – I sold my listing in Oceanside for $200,000 over list!

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, April

I doubt we’ll ever see this again.

Even though we’ve had healthy gains in 2023, the YoY declines makes it look like we’re going backwards because the index was rising so quickly last year. Hard to imagine any more MoM gains of 3.8% or 4.6%!

April’s index is about the same as it was in February AND August, 2022.

Going forward, it should settle in to a range of 390-420 for the next couple of years.

However, the view from the ivory tower is that we’ve survived the downturn and we’re fine now. Because the Case-Shiller Index is so dated, he already knows that the next 2-3 months will be positive:

“If I were trying to make a case that the decline in home prices that began in June 2022 had definitively ended in January 2023, April’s data would bolster my argument. Whether we see further support for that view in coming months will depend on the how well the market navigates the challenges posed by current mortgage rates and the continuing possibility of economic weakness.”

My guess is that the second half of 2023 will go back to Plateau City, like it did in 2019:

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, 2019

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