Balboa Park condos cost $1K per square foot

As thousands of San Diegans continue to be priced out of buying a home, others are paying prices never seen before to put their name on a deed.

Now, the crunch is spreading from the coast to the middle of town. 

Melissa Collins sees it first hand. She lives in Mission Hills but spends some of her extra time in Balboa Park.

"I can go over to the zoo, I can go downtown, I can go to the Embarcadero," she said. "This little spot right here is fabulous. You just can't get better."

Developers are well aware. And units in a building under construction steps from the park - called The Park at Bankers Hill - just hit the market at unheard of asking prices for this area. Some of the condos in the building are on sale for $1,000 per square foot, a rate that's steeper than many current listings along the coast. 

"San Diego is always known as a beach town, but buyers want to be in urban core," said Brad Termini, president of developer Zephyr Partners. "There are so many things going on at the park, people want a walkable lifestyle. They want to get out of that big huge home with all the maintenance that comes along with it."

Termini said 12 of the building's 60 condos are sold at full price, many to cash buyers from outside San Diego. The units start at about $1.2 million and many come with private elevators.

"I don't know who is affording it," Collins said. "There's a lot of money here still, a lot of cash. People are bringing in a lot of cash and buying."

Collins, a real estate agent, said many of her clients who have savings are priced out, including one woman who wanted a large house for $600,000. 

Mark Goldman, a real estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said he sees prices continuing to rise 3 to 6 percent a year until San Diego's supply crunch is addressed. 

In May, the median home in the county sold for $490,000, up 6.8 percent in the last year, CoreLogic reports.

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