High-end hurt in San Diego
Here's a good example of the messy way the high-end is correcting. This house in the Scripps Ranch area of San Diego was built in 2006 and sold late that year for $1,855,500. At that time, the San Diego housing market was moving quickly from boom to bust. The loan on the house was for $1,391,400.
This spring, the house was listed as a short sale for $999,000. Sellers occasionally list houses at very low prices to lure buyers. It's doubtful the lender and homeowner would have taken a nearly $400,000 haircut to make a sale at that price, and a buyer aware of this paid $1,229,000 for the house in April.
That's a 34% drop in less than three years for the five-bedroom, 5 1/2 bath, 5,600 square-foot house. But the house was sold in two months -- pretty swift for a short sale. Other houses in the neighborhood have sold quickly with comparable price reductions. But a few other sellers still have houses listed for near or -- even above -- what they paid in 2006. These houses have been unsold for months.
Price expectations can be off on both sides, it seems. Sellers still expect they'll be exceptions to the market downturn, and buyers who thought they might have gotten the house above for $999,000 or less were also reaching.
--Peter Y. Hong
Photo: Peter Y. Hong