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San Diego Homes Sales Stay High Because Of Move-Up Buyers

— Southern California homes sales peaked at a seven-year high for the month of August, despite a dip in sales at more affordable levels.

Aired 9/13/13 on KPBS News.

Home sales numbers hit a seven-year high in Southern California, but signs indicate the market may be cooling a bit.

Diana Parkhouse

A 30 percent boost in the number of buyers moving up into more expensive homes drove sales in August.

Last month, 23,057 homes changed hands in the six-county southern California region, which includes San Diego. That's up nearly three percent from a year ago.

Home prices also showed a 24 percent hike over the same time a year ago, but there are several factors that are putting downward pressure on home prices.

"We have fewer investors, fewer cash buyers," said Andrew LePage of the real estate tracking firm Dataquick. "Rates are up, but not a lot, but enough to make a difference. And the supply of homes for sale is gradually rising. I would not anticipate seeing 20 to 30 percent increases."

The rising values have allowed more people to put their homes up for sale, according to LePage. Many people couldn't do that before because the value of their mortgage was larger than the value of their home.

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