Real Estate Watch – Dan Conway
How Will the Housing Market Look in 2017?
No one, of course, can accurately predict that far in advance. There are too many variables at play. But, there is one aspect of the current housing market that would seem tough to reverse, and that’s the ability to build. First thing, we have a finite amount of land that can be developed, particularly in the city of San Diego. Secondly, a portion of our population appears unwilling to embrace density, at least in certain parts of the county, which makes it tough on planners and builders to increase supply. “We’ll be the Bay Area in no time,” said Borre Winckel, president and CEO of the Building Industry Association of San Diego. “We can offer very few product lines for the middle-class buyer.”
San Diego County’s median home price stopped just short of hitting half a million dollars in June, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported Tuesday. The median price last month reached $495,000, representing a 4% increase from a year earlier. Middle-class workers with families are already moving to North County, and even Temecula, where they can afford homes. But the commute is brutal and could get worse. San Diego does not have mass transit like San Francisco or New York that can move large numbers of people, especially from North County.
Many San Diego homeowners of late are basking in newfound property-value gains and the replenishment of equity lost since the recession. However, those gains could be short-lived if businesses can’t attract enough workers. If interest rates rise, the pool of potential home buyers will fall.
More and more people are moving to urban environments, such as downtown, Golden Hill, and North Park. This displaces lower-income residents in those areas due to the rising housing prices and rent. Millennials want denser living, so we’re seeing lower-income folks heading out to the suburbs, where there are no services.
Just think, 20 years from now, will downtown be home to high-rises, craft beer pubs, restaurants, and a certain football stadium?