There are certainly a number of conflicting reports out there and it might be helpful to give a clarifying perspective of the current market and what Buyers and Sellers are observing. For starters, the headlines report that rents are at all-time highs, home prices are skyrocketing, low inventory and new home sales have dropped significantly in the last few months.
From my perspective, San Diego has been undervalued for quite a long time. We have homes to buy though and the best ones go pretty fast for top dollar. And rightly so. Homeowners over the years have gotten a lot smarter about their property. Putting in equity, sweat or $$, has proven to be a smart decision.
For years, one could rent a 2 bedroom, 2 bath property for about $700/$750 a month. Not anymore. That same property today could range from $1500 to well over $2000 a month. Aside from work, life in San Diego takes place a lot of the time, outdoors. We have miles and miles of beautiful beaches, sunshine most of the year, and more things to do and events to attend than most of us can even begin to consider. Considering the real quality of life here, maybe those rents are in line with that quality of life. The rents also raise the question about owning a home for about the same cost of rent. The availability of low-cost financing should certainly be an incentive to consider Buying instead of renting.
New home sales have fallen off some. No doubt that is likely true but there may be a reason. There are not enough new homes in areas where people want to live. It takes vacant land first before new home developments can be considered. Many of the available parcels of land are well outside of current living centers. This makes a case for builders to consider purchasing in older neighborhoods and replacing as well as densifying the areas with condominiums and townhomes.
Sellers are getting top dollar for homes that have been carefully improved. A decade ago, home flipping was a major consideration for investors. We are now seeing that concept return and for the future homeowner, it is an even better concept to consider for themselves. What's the best home to consider restyling for today's living needs? The one with the "best location". That was always the rule to follow and it is no less true today.
So where does all of this lead? It leads to San Diego and a vibrant market that while changing is only getting better and better. High prices with a high value is a good thing. Higher rents more in accordance with the quality of life, another good thing. Low inventory is a matter of perspective. No home is perfect but making an average home better and more accommodating to the needs of the owners with good improvements, it another very good thing.
It goes without saying that San Diego may be too expensive for some. So is New York or San Francisco or a myriad of other major cities. Factoring in city infrastructure, parks, and recreation centers, it is not the small community for the quiet living it once was. San Diego is a continually growing robust area with so much activity and so many amenities that price by necessity has become secondary to the quality of life.