real estate

San Diego's Hot Housing Market Starts Cooling Off

The pandemic threw San Diego's housing market into the wild wild west. It's finally slowing down, but by how much?

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Gabriella Noel says she’s not giving up.

After six months and five rejected offers, she’s still confident that she’ll be able to buy her own home.

“There’s been a lot of bidding wars,” she told NBC 7. “Offers going in above asking price, for sure.”

Noel had hoped at first to buy a two-bedroom home near San Diego’s coast but says she’s open to any place nearby.

“We’ve been up to north county. We’ve been a little bit inland,” said Noel’s realtor, Sara Forgnone.

"I must’ve shown her between 30 and 40 houses so far and just haven’t found the perfect one.”

Although Noel is paying cash for her home purchase, sellers have opted for higher offers, leaving her frustrated.

It’s a sign of the times. San Diego’s real estate market has been on an upward trajectory for the past two years. According to real estate trackers, the median price for a single-family home was $590,000 in March of 2020. This year it rose to $850,000 ... $1 million by some estimates.

But that high was short-lived. Real estate prices are down 2.9% this month, making the median price of a home $825,000, and some people are speculating that with rising inflation and interest rates, the median price could drop even farther, creating a real estate slump.

“Markets are always going to ebb and flow,” said realtor Alexander Ciullo of Pacific Sotheby’s. He doesn’t believe the shift in San Diego real estate will be a major one, primarily because demand for homes is always high in “America’s finest city.”

Ciullo admitted that the amount of time each listing stays on the market has lengthened in the past month. At the height of the housing market, homes would sell in four to five days, said Ciullo. “Now we’re looking at 10 to 21 days,” he added.

Ciullo and other realtors claim this isn’t a boom or bust situation, just an anticipated market adjustment. Realtors will have to work a little harder to match properties with qualified buyers because with fewer homes on the market, there’s more competition.

His advice to people who think they should wait for prices and interest rates to come down? “Get in the market. Be in the field, in the game.”  He said people should start building equity, which was up 18-24% over the last year in San Diego Housing. “That’s the step-up process that’s gonna lead you to getting what you want.”

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