Home Prices in County Hit Five-Year High: $400K

U-T San Diego -- San Diego County home prices have hit the highest level in five years, as distressed sales continue to fall and mortgage rates are still near record lows.

The median price of a home sold in April rose to $400,000, up 21 percent from the same time a year ago, reported San Diego-based real estate monitor DataQuick on Tuesday. Last month’s median price matched the median in April 2008. The all-time peak was $517,500 in November 2005. Sales rose 7 percent from a year ago to 3,792.

... Norm Miller, professor at University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, said the plan has worked so far. But if it goes on for too many years and double-digit price hikes persist, those conditions could be unsustainable and a real estate bubble could form, he said.

For now, another bubble can be avoided if homebuyers continue to buy what they can afford and underwriting standards for mortgages continue to be strict, Miller said. A key difference between the housing climate now and during the lead-up to the real estate crash is that lenders aren’t issuing subprime or second mortgages, which got a lot of homeowners into trouble. (Full Story)

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