If you are considering buying or selling a home, staying aware of current San Diego real estate market trends and statistics is vital. The one question I get more than any other is, “how is the San Diego real estate market?” In this article, I will provide a detailed answer, along with current San Diego real estate market statistics, updated daily. We will also discuss some of the key statistics to consider when evaluating the San Diego housing market. We’ll cover the average San Diego home price, the median San Diego home price, and other useful housing metrics. For many of the key statistics, graphs will show both single-family detached homes as well as condos, townhomes, etc. Since the graphs are updated live, you can bookmark this page and return to it whenever you would like the latest San Diego real estate market data. This information should be helpful whether you are a local, or an out-of-state buyer considering San Diego real estate.
Before I dive into the data with you it’s worth mentioning trying to time the real estate market can be tricky. Common advice I have heard from financial planners is “don’t try to time the stock market.” I believe similar caution should be applied to the real estate market. The reality is no one, not even economists specializing in real estate markets can reliably predict what the San Diego real estate market will do. Real estate purchases and sales are further complicated by the fact that buying a home is usually not just an investment. For most buyers, buying a home will have potential implications on their family, community, lifestyle, commute, and overall quality of life.
For buyers purchasing a home using a loan, the purchase price is also only one part of the affordability. Interest rates can have a significant impact on the true cost of a San Diego home. In other words, there are a lot of variables to consider when making a decision to buy or sell. I recommend having a discussion of those key considerations with your agent, financial advisor, and your family. Lastly, if you are looking for neighborhood-specific information, be sure to check out my article on San Diego Home Prices by neighborhood. The graphs and information below are comprised of data from all of San Diego County. When useful, I also try to provide some historical context on what some of these numbers looked like during more turbulent times in the San Diego housing market.
Average Price of a Home in San Diego
Median Price of a Home in San Diego
The average home price in San Diego, or the median home price in San Diego, are figures you hear frequently in the news. These numbers give a very high-level view of San Diego home prices, and how those prices compare to past levels or other parts of the country.
These calculations are based on sold data. Prices do not account for seller concessions (such as seller credits to buyers for repairs). Median represents the point at which half of the homes that sold in a given month were priced higher and half were priced lower. Average is the mean sales price for all closed sales in a given month.
Average Time on Market
The average time on Market refers to the average number of days between when a property is listed and when an offer is accepted. Market time for detached homes vs condos is usually within a few days of each other. The data above is for all property types. One interesting thing to note is that there is a seasonal cyclical pattern to the market time. That pattern has shorter market times in the summer months and longer market times peaking around February.
For some historical context, in the last 15 years, the highest average time on the market has been around 80 to 90 days. These long market times took place during the 2008-2012 time period, which corresponded with the great recession of 2007 and its long aftermath. Not until late 2013 and early 2014 did we start to see the relatively shorter market times that have prevailed in recent years in the San Diego real estate market.
San Diego Housing Market Inventory
The data in this graph is derived from active listings at the end of a given month, divided by the average monthly closed sales for the last 12 months. This is also known as the absorption rate. Again, for some historical context, from 2006 to 2014, the supply ranged from four months to a whopping 12 months in 2008!
Average Price Per Square Foot in San Diego
The price per square foot comes from taking the sales price of a property and dividing that by the number of square feet. The price per square foot can vary tremendously, even in the exact same neighborhood. While the average in a nice San Diego neighborhood might be $600, you could easily find a very small square footage fixer in a desirable location selling for close to $1000 per square foot.
In general, the price per square foot will tend to be higher the smaller the property’s square footage. This is why you see the price per square foot for condos and townhomes averages higher than detached homes. If we were to look at detached homes and condos of equal size, the price per square foot would usually be higher for detached homes. Very large square footage homes often have a relatively lower price per square foot numbers. Price per square foot is an important metric to use when valuing a property, however, it should be used in comparison to other comparable homes. The numbers above again do not take into account any seller concessions.
Number of Active Listings in San Diego
This metric shows the actual inventory in terms of the number of properties for sale (listed as “active”) at the end of each month. These numbers maxed out during the great recession at around 900 detached homes and 3700 condos/townhomes. Since then, inventory has been on the decline. A recent slight uptick in late 2018 has signaled a potentially shifting market to some observers, but as of the writing of this article (Mid April, 2019), it remains to be seen if that shift is momentary, or the sign of more significant changes to come.
New San Diego Listings
I often get asked about the best time to sell a property in San Diego and about how much seasonality we see in the San Diego real estate market. The new listings and sold listings metrics above provide a lot of insight into seasonal inventory levels and sales numbers. Although the graph looks more dramatic for San Diego condos and townhomes when you actually look at the numbers you will see there are always a significant number of homes for selling in San Diego. The seasonality is even less dramatic in the San Diego housing market when you look at single-family detached homes. With our beautiful year-round sun and very moderate temperatures, we just don’t experience the dramatic seasonal shifts that other real estate markets do in places where they actually have “real weather!”
San Diego Real Estate Market Trends
Hopefully, all the data and commentary in this article provide insight into the recent history of the San Diego housing market coupled with some current context as well. Please check back in the future as the data on the San Diego real estate market presented here is always kept up to date.
If you or someone you know might be buying or selling real estate in San Diego, regardless of location or price point, please let me know. I can also assist in connecting buyers and sellers outside San Diego with outstanding Sotheby’s International Realty agents via our 800+ offices in over 60 countries. Please read my client reviews, and don’t hesitate to call, text, or email me with any real estate questions or to schedule a no-obligation consultation.
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