San Diego Home Prices Soar

Local home prices grew at a faster pace than the national average.

Local home prices have spiked in the past year, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

In San Diego, the index showed a gain of 12.1 percent in the year ending in March 2013. Local prices grew at faster pace than the national figure, which grew at 10.2 percent, the biggest gain in six years.

But those figures are lower than those of the San Diego Association of Realtors, which reported median single-family home prices climbed 23 percent in the year ending in April 2013.

One local Real Estate Broker said prices are over-inflated.

"A 20 percent increase would tell you that, yes," said Scott Vinson, owner and broker at Coldwell Banker Royal Realty in Chula Vista.

"I would like to see the market slow down a little, from a broker's standpoint. I'd like it to slow down and get those first-time buyers involved and getting them buying homes before it's too late," Vinson said.

Army veteran Gilbert Manalo considers himself very lucky to be in his new home. For more than a year, he made bids on multiple houses, and his offers were constantly getting trumped.

"It was very difficult, especially for VA Buyers," Manalo said.

In February, Manalo was able to get into a 1,600 square foot home in Paradise Hills for less than $300,000, a level where buyers like Gilbert often lose to cash rich investors.

"That happens to be the price point that every bidder out there-- the investors and the first-time buyers-- are trying to get a hold of," Vinson said.

After 10 days on the market, his listing on Skyline Drive has received 22 offers from a mix of investors and first-time buyers. It will likely fetch more than the 225-thousand dollar asking price.

Vinson said some investors have orders for their real estate agents to purchase homes under a certain price without even looking at the property in hopes of purchasing it for a quick remodel and flip.

He hopes less wealthy home buyers don't get shut out of the market creating a stronger foundation for the local housing industry.

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