Shortage Of San Diego Homes For Sale Leads To Bidding Wars
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Aired 6/19/12 on KPBS News.
The newest twist in San Diego's housing market is a shortage of homes for sale.
SAN DIEGO Local realtors report home inventory is less than half of what it was a year ago.
Chicago transplants, Maria Minos and her husband, have been looking for a two-bedroom, two-bath home with a yard since January.
Like thousands of others in San Diego, the Minos’ routinely compete with up to 15 other would-be buyers on each property. The couple said they’ve begun to over-bid on homes, even if they hadn’t been inside the house.
“We have started over-bidding. The most I’ve over bid on a house so far is $30,000," said Minos.
Chris Spade, a realtor for Keller Williams in San Diego, checks for available homes and condos each day.
“Today, there are approximately 6,000 houses on the market throughout all of San Diego County. That’s down from about 15,000 a year ago,” said Spade.
He offered a few reasons for the low inventory.
“We’ve got great interest rates, there are more buyers than property. And the banks ‘shadow inventory’ or bank owned properties have not yet been released,” explained Spade.
Real estate agents are also struggling to find sellers. One Coldwell Banker broker recently circulated a bold flier in Pacific Beach. It highlighted a $686,000 home that sold at $60,000 above asking price in “seven days with multiple offers.”
Some buyers believe banks are purposely withholding property to stabilize the market or to artificially raise home prices.
But, Maria Minos blames the current shortage on something else.
“What’s really killing this for people like myself who just want to live in the home, is the house flippers. They’re putting down a lot of cash, and it’s being accepted over conventional loans,” said Minos.
Regardless of who is buying or selling, Southern California home prices rose to a 20-month high in May, up 5.4 percent from a year ago, according to market research by DataQuick.
The median price for a house or condo in Southern California in is now $295,000, up from $280,000 last June, according to DataQuik.