2024 San Diego real estate market predictions – SDtoday

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We get it, people want to move to San Diego and they’re not looking to leave. That’s not going to change this year, and the San Diego metro area is expected to remain a hot place to buy a home — it ranked No. 4 on Realtor.com’s “Top Housing Markets for 2024″ list.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in SD, there’s a lot to consider and many unknown factors. To get a better idea of what we can expect in 2024, we asked Realtor.com’s Senior Economic Research Analyst Hannah Jones for her insights on the local market.

Q: San Diego is a top housing market — why does it remain so hot?
A: The San Diego metro area, which includes Chula Vista and Carlsbad, saw sales fall annually in both 2022 and 2023, as well as slowing price growth. However, we expect both sales and prices to turn around in 2024, climbing compared to the previous year.

Q: For someone looking to buy a home in the San Diego area in 2024, what should they look out for?
A: Inventory levels fell annually in the San Diego metro area from May through December 2023, which kept upward pressure on prices. This means that prospective buyers face relatively few for-sale options and high prices. The median listing price has climbed annually in San Diego since April 2019, and today’s competitive buying environment suggests the ascent will continue into 2024.

A home with a pick exterior and palm trees behind it.

San Diego is a desirable — and expensive — housing market.

Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

Q: What should sellers be aware of if they plan to sell a home in San Diego this year?
A: Sellers are in a relatively strong position in San Diego as buyers face few for-sale home options. This means that sellers who list a well-priced, well-maintained home can expect considerable buyer attention. However, as both mortgage rates and home prices remain elevated, sellers who are also buyers should seek out information about housing market conditions in the market they hope to buy into. Many homeowners are choosing not to sell as today’s prevailing mortgage rate is still more than 3% higher than the rate on a typical outstanding mortgage.

Q: Realtor.com projects San Diego’s annual home sales to increase by 11% in 2024, what’s driving that growth?
A: After two years of declining sales, we expect improved affordability conditions, including easing mortgage rates, to usher in a recovery in housing activity in San Diego. New construction activity picked up in the San Diego metro area in 2023, and is expected to build in 2024 as well. An uptick in newly constructed inventory may take some pressure off of price growth, which would also contribute to an uptick in home sales.

Q: If you’re a first time home buyer in 2024, especially in San Diego, what should you be aware of?
A: First-time home buyers will face a still-challenging housing market in San Diego in 2024. These buyers should come to the market prepared with a budget in mind given the prevailing mortgage rate. While the competitive San Diego market may tempt first-time buyers to stretch their budget, it is important to keep monthly housing payments affordable. One rule of thumb is to keep housing payments within 30% of the household’s monthly income.

Q: Is San Diego’s 2024 housing market considered a buyer’s or seller’s market?
A: San Diego’s housing market leans towards a seller’s market, as low inventory levels and steady price growth mean that sellers can sell for a relatively high price while buyers still face challenging affordability conditions.

Q: According to the San Diego Association of Realtors, the median single-family home sale price in San Diego County was $949,000 in December 2023. Is that price projected to surpass the $1 million mark in 2024?
A: We track the median listing price in the San Diego metro area, which reached an average of $1,013,000 in 2023. Sale prices track lower than listing prices as lower-priced homes tend to sell more quickly, leaving higher-priced homes on the market. We expect the median existing home sale price to increase 5.4% in San Diego in 2024.

Based on the latest sales data, existing homes sold for an average of $830,000 in January through October 2023 in [the San Diego metro area]. This suggests that the sales price for existing homes will not exceed $1 million in this area in 2024.

Note: Some responses have been edited for clarity.

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