Raising loan limits expected to help falling resales and prices in San Diego

Thu Feb 14, 9:35 PM ET San Diego Daily Transcript

As part of the new economic stimulus bill signed into law Wednesday by President Bush, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan limits have been raised from $362,790 to as high as $729,750, which will aid the San Diego County and California existing home sales markets, according to several local San Diego real estate agents.

The loan limits increase comes at an opportune time, as existing sold listings totals in January of this year noticeably trailed sales activity experienced in January 2007, a period of time when the slowdown in sales activity was in full swing.

According to recent statistics from SDAR, there were a total of 1,215 existing homes resales during January 2008, down 455 transactions from the 1,670 sales that took place in January 2007.

The decline in activity from January of last year was a result of the decrease in both attached and detached sold listings, as the detached market experienced 225 less sales and the attached market 230 fewer transactions.

Detached

In January of this year, there were 812 detached sold listings valued at nearly $521 million, which compared with 1,037 sold listings valued at nearly $728 million during the same month last year.

The nearly $521 million worth of transactions during January 2008 also represented a 19.8 percent decline in sales volume when compared with December 2007.

The average sales price in January of this year stood at $641,485, an 8.6 decline compared with January 2007 and a 4.3 percent decline compared with December 2007.

The median price of a detached home during January of this year, $475,500, was a 15.8 percent decline in price compared with the same month last year and a 4.6 percent decline in comparison with December 2007.

While activity levels changed spanning a period of a year, average days on the market for a home remained unchanged from January 2007 to January 2008 at 81 days.

ZIP codes that contributed 20 or more detached sales during January 2008 included: 91911 Chula Vista, 21 sales; 91941 La Mesa, 22 sales; 91977 Spring Valley 24 sales; 92024 Encinitas, 21 sales; 92027 Escondido, 26 sales; 92057 Oceanside, 27 sales; 92078 San Marcos, 20 sales; 92126 Mira Mesa, 20 sales; and 92130 Carmel Valley, 21 sales.

Nineteen zip codes contributed 20 or more detached sales during January 2007 led by 92057 Oceanside with 44 sales.

Attached

There were 403 attached sold listings valued at nearly $164 million during January 2008, which compared with 633 sold listings worth nearly $267 million during the same period last year.

The nearly $164 million worth of transactions during January equated to a 17.2 percent decline in sales volume when compared with December 2007.

The average sales price of a unit during January stood at $406,834, which represented a 3.3 percent decline in selling price when compared with January 2007 when the price stood at $420,933.

While the average sales price declined spanning a period of a year, the $406,834 figure represented an 8.5 percent increase in average price when compared with December 2007.

Unlike average price the median sales price of a unit during January of this year, $300,000, represented a 16.6 percent decrease in price compared with the same period last year and a 3.8 percent drop when compared with December of last year.

Average days on the market for an attached unit rose only two days in a span of a year, from 80 days in January 2007 to 82 days during January of this year.

ZIP codes that contributed more than 10 attached sales during January included: 91915 Chula Vista, 12 sales; 92037 La Jolla, 18 sales; 92057 Oceanside, 12 sales; 92101 San Diego Downtown, 36 sales; 92104 North Park, 16 sales, and 92128 Rancho Bernardo, 17 sales.

Only 13 ZIP codes experienced 10 or more sales during the month.

During the same month last year 22 ZIP codes experienced ten or more sales led by downtown San Diego, which experienced 41 sales.