SAN DIEGO - As the end of 2013 approaches, local realtors say the housing market has turned around.
For homebuyers Jeffrey and Amy, looking for their first home is not what they thought it would be.
"The prices are definitely intimidating," said Jeffrey. "I'm thinking about a few years later down, is it going to drop in price if we're putting down that much money?"
The couple's dream home includes a spacious kitchen and bright rooms – something a Rancho Penasquitos home has but again, it comes down to the price.
A 4-bedroom home in that area is going for $649,000, a drop in price since it was listed in September.
Angela Ordway, who is with the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, says in November, the average price for a single family home in Rancho Penasquitos is $469,000, which is 15 percent higher than 2012.
She says it is a clear indication that the housing market has turned around.
"Prices have stabilized and because of that, it will be less competitive," said Ordway. "We won't see a lot of multiple offers, so there will be good chances that the first-time home buyers can get those key properties."
Ordway added that not only are homes selling quicker, but the number of foreclosures has gone down by 65 percent in 2013.
It is a promising start to 2014 for couples like Jeffrey and Amy, who believe they will not have to compete with investors who have notoriously outbid first-time homebuyers like themselves.
"As newlyweds, we were saving for a down payment and no matter how much we save, we can't keep up with investors," said Amy.
Ordway says it is a predicament that should not be a problem in the coming year now that both buyers and sellers are on an equal playing field.