Zillow: San Diego housing near 'crisis level'

Posted at 1:20 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 23:14:16-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- There's a housing crisis in San Diego. That, according to a new Zillow report.

Across the country, there are 10 percent fewer homes on the market than one year ago. In San Diego, you can double that.

"Aging millennials and young families may be able to find more affordable new homes for sale this year, but they'll most likely be in further-flung suburbs with more grueling commutes to urban job centers," said Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow

According to Zillow, the housing shortage is worse in "some markets where home prices are rising the fastest."

Gina Biglione bought a condo downtown for $600,000 in 2013. She now has it on the market for as much as $829,000. But she's waiting until it sells before getting serious about any other properties.

"The inventory's so tight that I don't want to fall in love with something and then it'll get purchased out from under me," she said.  

Zillow lists 14 cities where the housing shortage is at 'crisis levels.' Six of them are in California, including San Diego. Here's how they rank: 

  • 1. San Jose
  • 2. San Francisco
  • 5. Sacramento
  • 7. Los Angeles
  • 8. San Diego 
  • 11. Riverside

In San Diego the median home value increased 7.1 percent over the past year and is now at $565,000. Additionally, there are 20.2 percent fewer homes on the market than one year ago.

To make matters worse, many homes are selling for more than the asking price. According to Zillow, 32.1 percent of all homes sold in the San Diego metro area in 2017 went for more than the asking price.

"I have clients who are first-time homebuyers, we're getting bid out by cash inventors, I have people working with down-payment assistance programs, it's really challenging for them," said Branden Matlock, a realtor with the Condo Showroom in downtown San Diego.

Even if you aren't buying, the crisis will affect you because of the lack of supply and very high demand. It's driving up rent. 

Right now the median rent is a whopping $2,546 per month - that's up 4.3 over last year.

In Mayor Faulconer's State of the City address, the Mayor talked about the housing situation. He spoke of a revamp of fees to encourage the building of smaller, less expensive homes.

The Mayor also talked about expanding housing density, which would help first-time buyers and the middle class.

Mark Goldman, a loan officer and real-estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said one way to get ahead of the competition is to get a pre-approval letter from a lender. That could make a loan application more attractive, even if a buyer doesn't have 20 percent down. 

There are also low-down payment programs through the Federal Housing Administration, and loans through the VA don't require any cash down.

Looking to buy? The San Diego Housing Commission offers deferred loans, homeownership grants, and mortgage credit certificates to help low and moderate-income families buy their first homes.

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