If you’re having a hard time finding a home to purchase in San Diego County, there is a pretty good reason.
The county had the biggest drop in homes for sale in the nation from January 2015 to January 2016, real estate tracker Zillow said in its latest report.
San Diego saw a 30.2 percent decline in housing inventory — made up of all homes for sale, including new, old and condos — in the 12 months studied by Zillow. It was followed by Charlotte, N.C., at 29 percent and Seattle at 27.1 percent.
Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., and Houston had the only increases in inventory.
Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow, said San Diego is in a tough spot because of a lack of new homes for sale and current homeowners are worried about moving because of the tight market.
“People in these expensive places who own homes are a little bit reluctant to go out and search for a new home,” he said. “They’re worried they won’t find anything comparable to what they have.”
Realtor Dave Cox of Red Real Estate said he has seen a number of sellers recently writing in listings that the sale of their property is contingent on them finding a new home themselves.
He said, in general, properties he deals with — mostly in North County — get three to four offers in the first 30 days. For first-time buyers, that can prove to be tricky.
Even trying to buy outside of the area is tough.
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Cox said he spoke with a woman Monday who had qualified for a $330,000 mortgage and was willing to buy outside San Diego County in Temecula or Murrieta in Riverside County. She would have commuted to work in San Marcos.
“I told her you can’t find a house at that price that is 1,800 square feet or more. It just doesn’t exist,” he said. “Every property we tried to find had multiple offers and the property she was interested in had an offer that was $30,000 over the asking price.”
There were 8,051 homes for sale in January 2015 in San Diego County but it was down to 5,617 this year.
Not factoring in city size or population of the 34 metro areas studied by Zillow, San Diego had the sixth least amount of homes for sale in January.
Cities below San Diego were Portland with 5,430 homes; Austin with 5,230; Sacramento with 4,750; San Francisco with 4,169; and San Jose with 1,788.
New York had the most with 86,970 homes, Zillow said. Los Angeles had 18,146.
San Diego was at the bottom of Zillow’s list of top 10 sellers’ markets.
The top five markets for sellers were San Jose, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle and Nashville, Zillow said.
“Compared to places that are both supply constrained and incomes are growing pretty quickly, San Diego doesn’t rank quite as well,” Terrazas said.
Zillow said the best cities for buyers are Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Hartford and New York (and northern New Jersey).
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