Mini-Housing Bubble, Foreclosure Recovery and the Most Morally Pure San Diego Neighborhoods – San Diego Real Estate Highlights for the Week of June 17, 2013

CNNMoney recently featured San Diego as one of their Top Ten Fastest Growing Cities for Real Estate. San Diego’s prominent Navy presence and the defence contractors that come with it, as well as being the conduit for $26.3 billion worth of Californian exports to Mexico are cited as the primary reasons for the city’s economic growth. San Diego’s sunny climate and ocean front location are also listed as major draws for new residents. The article mentions that property developers in San Diego have switched to condos and rental apartments as affordable alternatives to single family homes.

Mini-Housing Bubble, Foreclosure Recovery; UT San Diego kicked off June with a number of dire predictions about the local real estate market. This story warns about rising home prices in San Diego Real Estate. Home prices in March of 2013 were 12% higher from what they were a year ago – the highest they have been since 2008. What is the reason behind this precipitous rise? Inventory shortage as a result of high buyer demand thanks to historically low rates combined with a large number of homeowners unable to sell because they’re stuck in underwater mortgages.

A follow up piece three days later cites the aforementioned factors as a potential catalyst for a mini-housing bubble in San Diego. The author states that San Diego is more vulnerable to abrupt changes in house prices than other markets because of its strict zoning laws. Such laws, though popular with residents, make it difficult for property developers to quickly respond to surging demand with new construction. Experts estimate that new construction in San Diego is down 89 percent from its peak in 2006, leading to a dearth of new inventory in the face of increasing buyer enthusiasm.

A June 20 article laments the bleak prospects for affordable housing in California in the wake of reduced federal funding. The article discusses several new proposals to keep affordable housing alive in the Golden State, including a bill that would mandate an additional $75 fee for filing paperwork relating to refinancing, liens and quit-claim deeds – a move predictably opposed by the California Association of Realtors.

We end our UT San Diego round-up with this positive piece proudly proclaiming that San Diego foreclosures are at a 7 year low. The $25 billion national mortgage settlement and California’s Homeowner’s Bill of Rights are said to be the primary driving forces behind the reduction in foreclosures (both are discussed in more detail in this earlier blog post). Another factor behind the recovery is increasing home values, which brought many homeowners struggling with underwater mortgages out of negative equity. Federal and State incentives to protect homeowners also meant that banks were more receptive to conducting short sales in San Diego instead of foreclosing. Now would be a good time to remind readers that real estate industry groups like the California Mortgage Association, California Bankers Association and California Mortgage Bankers Association lobbied hard against the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights, warning of dire consequences if it passed.

This 13 page feature in the May/June 2013 issue of Our City San Diego gives us an extensive look into the many diverse and colorful neighborhoods that make up San Diego. The editors broke down San Diego County into 85 neighborhoods and ranked them in 16 categories, including crime, schools, youth facilities, health and “moral cleanliness.” The article contains the details behind ranking methodology and data sources used. Spoiler: Coronado consistently ranks as the best place to raise a family, and Downtown San Diego the worst. As far as moral cleanliness (i.e. sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll) is concerned, Hillcrest and Downtown San Diego are ranked as the worst (or best, if you happen to enjoy sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll!)

Mini-Housing Bubble, Foreclosure Recovery and the Most Morally Pure San Diego Neighborhoods – San Diego Real Estate Highlights for the Week of June 17, 2013