North County home prices drop while sales increase

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The average selling price in North San Diego County dropped in February while the volume of transactions increased over the prior month, according to Jerry Kalman, Realtor at The Jacques Company.

“Of homes neither lender-owned nor a short sale, the average selling price was $357,000, a 33 percent decrease over the prior month. More than half the transactions were traditional sales in February," he said.

Discounting occurred across the board as average selling prices in Fallbrook and Bonsall declined 3 percent from February 2011 levels to $338,000. February prices were 13 percent lower than January despite an increase in volume over the prior month. Overall, prices dropped by an average of 13 percent from those at the original listing. Only one property sold for more than the original asking price.

The single-family residential inventory declined again, dropping to 236 properties, a six-month supply based on February results, said Kalman. The average asking price of the inventory was $745,000, a 4 percent increase over January.

The number of homes in escrow entering March soared to 102 properties as 57 came off the market in February. The average asking price of those off the market was $367,000, or $165 per square foot.

Kalman said that in February it took less time for properties to move from the active inventory into escrow. An average of 46 days elapsed from the original listing to sell lender-owned properties and 40 days to move a traditional transaction into escrow. The average time for short sales on the market was down to 143 days.

In the segment where first-time buyers and investor activity occurs, three condominiums, all in Fallbrook, sold at an average price of $141,000, or $122 per square foot. Six condos were in escrow. Entering March, the active inventory of condos was 16 units, six in Fallbrook and 10 in Bonsall. The average asking price of that inventory was $198,000, or $124 per square foot.

Comparing Fallbrook-Bonsall with nearby North San Diego County markets, Kalman said homes that sold here in February at $156 per average square foot trailed $235 in Carlsbad, $191 in Oceanside, $185 in San Marcos, $165 in Vista and $164 in Escondido.

Kalman's data for the reporting periods ending Feb. 29 came from Sandicor Inc., the area's multiple listing service for Realtors. It represents properties listed or sold by various brokers in San Diego County. He uses this information to analyze the market and provide professional insight into real estate dynamics and trends as a community service.

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