Housing market in San Diego County heating up: Supply low, demand creating fierce bidding wars

SAN DIEGO - The housing market in San Diego County is heating up. The "for sale" signs you do see often disappear in days or weeks.

Supply and demand are pushing prices through the roof and real estate is on a roll.

Broker Scott Voak, who is with Voak Homes in Rancho Bernardo, says the supply is so low that he does not have any homes to market right now. The demand has created fierce bidding wars.

"It's insane," said Voak. "We had the only house in the market under $650,000 and we had 10 offers and sold for $55,000 over the appraisal."

The latest numbers in San Diego County show inventory is down 40 percent from a year ago. Home prices are up 24 percent for attached homes and 16 percent for detached homes. 

Neighborhoods in the Poway Unified School District seem to be the hottest ticket.

Voak says foreign investors are buying up properties and that all those distressed properties from the collapse are dwindling in supply. It all creates a perfect storm for demand.

"That's pushing prices up and causing a frenzy with buyers," said Voak. "A lot of buyers are scared… it's no fun for buyers."

However, buyers still have a good interest rate on their side, and many are resorting to what has been coined "love letters."

It worked for Jonathan Duryee and his family. They sent a picture of their baby and two dogs with a handwritten letter to the seller that read, "We would love a big yard." The seller, Scott Pursell, caved, passing up on better cash offers.

Voak said the housing boom will continue through the summer and taper off. Though it is a great sign for the economy, it is not for first-time home buyers, who are getting squeezed out of the market.

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