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North County residential market holding up better than other areas

North County has fared better than the rest of San Diego when it comes to the sales of both new and resold homes.

The area had 69 single-family detached home projects with about 70 percent of its 4,700 units sold at the end of the second quarter, according to a report from MarketPointe Realty Advisors.

There are still nearly 1,200 units that have not been developed yet.

MarketPointe broke up North County into three subcategories: the Highway 78 corridor, the Interstate-15 corridor and the North County coast area.

Year over year, the weighted average price of a new detached home in the I-15 corridor went up 8 percent to $889,598. It was the only area in the county where MarketPoint reported a year-over-year upswing.

The Highway 78 corridor dropped almost 10 percent year over year to $492,897 while North County Coastal fell 12 percent to $859,826.

Builders said the $10,000 state tax credit has been helping sales, and fee deferral programs implemented by Carlsbad, Encinitas and Oceanside will help spark future development.

While San Diego County's total resold detached home prices have risen for three months straight, San Diego's North County has seen the median prices of homes sold rise each month since February, according to data provided by the North San Diego County Association of Realtors.

North County accounts for 43 of the 9,867 detached and 31 of the 5,401attached homes sold this year.

While the numbers are significantly higher than the rest of the county, they are not far off proportionately to the number of ZIP codes served.

There are 36 ZIP codes counted as part of North County out of the 104 San Diego County ZIP codes.

The majority of North County's sales so far this year were located in Escondido, Oceanside, Vista and San Marcos -- communities that have also been wracked with foreclosures.

While North County is averaging more sales than anywhere else in the county, it has also had one of the steepest declines in median prices.

In June 2008, the median price of a detached home sold in North County was $490,000; 15 percent higher than June's detached median price of $415,000.

But the gap between 2008 and 2009 could be closing. For the past few months, detached median home prices have been ticking up.

Part of the reason for North County's stability compared with other parts of San Diego is that it has more individual ZIP codes that have maintained prices over the past two years.

Each neighborhood in San Diego is experiencing slightly different conditions. Up until recently, medium- to high-priced homes had not felt values drop.

Even if prices on the middle- to upper-end of the market begin falling faster, it is still possible median prices could rise.

Since the median is not an average, bidding wars on the bottom end could force the median prices up.

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