Median single-family home prices in San Diego County hit their highest level since December 2007 in March, while it was mixed results on the home resale front.
The Greater San Diego Association of Realtors (SDAR) reported the median price of a single-family home reached $490,000 last month -- a 4 percent hike from February and a 13 percent increase from March of 2013.
Single-family home resales surged by 32.5 percent in San Diego County in March from February , but were still running about 15.4 percent off the figure recorded in March 2013.
While the SDAR tallied 1,767 home resales in March, compared to 2,089 in March of 2013, the organization's officials didn't seem too worried.
"I'm very encouraged by all the numbers from March," said SDAR 2014 President Leslie Kilpatrick. "We expected more activity in the spring months, and it sure looks like we're off to a good start. It's also quite a milestone when the median value of single-family homes approaches $500,000."
The county's single-family resales volume totaled $1.16 billion in March, or slightly more than $1.15 billion a year earlier.
The SDAR counted a total of $857.25 million worth of countywide single-family home resales through March, or about 2.47 percent more than the $836.59 million total tallied through the first three months of last year.
The ZIP codes with the most resales of single-family homes in March were 92128 (Rancho Bernardo), with 48; 92028 (Fallbrook), with 47; 92065 (Ramona), with 45; and 92027 (Escondido), with 41.
Jeff Hans, an agent with ReMax Associates in Rancho Bernardo, said the community might have had more sales had there been more homes.
The 92128 ZIP code in Rancho Bernardo, which had 102 single-family home resales through March, is a submarket where the homes averaged 39 days on the market through the year's first three months.
While the median price of a single-family home edged up slightly to $585,000 in the 92128 ZIP code, it is less than in 92127 ZIP code which includes portions of Rancho Bernardo and Carmel Mountain Ranch.
That submarket had a median single-family price of $831,250, which is more akin to prices prior to the recession.
The Fallbrook market saw 135 sold single-family listings through the first three month of 2014 and Jan Callne, a real estate consultant with HomeSmart, said he currently has 78 homes in escrow, and 12 that have closed in the area since March.
Callne, who covers both Fallbrook and Bonsall, said there is an enormous difference in the median price in the adjacent communities.
"The median price in Fallbrook is $649,000 for a 2,700-square-foot home. The median in Bonsall is $1,249,000 for a 4,200-square-foot home," Callne said.
Sergio Garcia, an agent with Sunshine Properties who works the same communities, said there is very little inventory in Fallbrook that is priced at less than $300,000.
"You can count it on one hand," Garcia said. "We concentrate on properties that are priced around a half-million dollars."
Garcia said homes are in sufficiently short supply that people are buying vacant parcels that they later intend to build upon.
While the 92027 ZIP code in Escondido had the fourth-highest number of sales with 41, the city has two other ZIP codes -- 92025 and 92026.
Together, the ZIP codes combined for 101 single-family resales in March and 233 resales through the year's first quarter.
Escondido also has neighborhoods that represent a wide range of home prices.
The median price of a single-family home ranged from $335,000 in more traditional suburbs to $955,000 in some of the city's more expensive areas that were often in gated communities.
The Ramona market had 106 resales through the first quarter. The median price in that submarket was $391,000 last month, though the year-to-date median of $414,000 may be a more accurate representation of pricing.
Homes in nearby master-planned San Diego Country Estates are generally priced at more than $1 million, in sharp contrast to homes that are priced at less than $300,000 in other parts of Ramona.
The SDAR reported the most expensive resale tracked in the county last month was that of a four-bedroom, six-bath, 6,350-square-foot home in Encinitas for $10.5 million.
The average price of a resold community in that coastal town was $955,000 last month.
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Nov. 20 1014 -- George Chamberlin speaks with Dr. Lynn Reaser, chief economist for Point Loma Nazarene University at the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute, and Leslie Kilpatrick, 2014 president of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, about recovery in the local real estate market.
June 26, 2104 -- George Chamberlin speaks with Leslie Kilpatrick, president of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, and Donald Coleman, vice president of real estate member experience for USE Credit Union, about what's happening in the residential real estate market and the role a credit union can play in buying a home.
March 29, 2012 -- George Chamberlin talks to Linda Lee, a broker with Keller Williams San Diego Metro, about China's interest in investing in the U.S. real estate market.