Tom York on Business: Good News for Home Sellers, Not So Much for Buyers

San Diego real estate
A home for sale in Tierrasanta. Staff photo.

Home prices continued to climb in February for San Diego owners looking to sell into a tight housing market.

The 20 largest U.S. cities in February all reported home price gains in February compared to January — with San Diego, Seattle and Tampa Bay posting the most appreciation. This according to the Radian Home Price Index, which released recently by residential broker Red Bell Real Estate.

The index found that February 2021 marked the last month that national home prices appreciated less than 10%. Since then, the housing market has witnessed a string of 12 consecutive months of monthly appreciation of more than 10%.

Red Bell provides national and regional indices for download at

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Meanwhile, digital broker Redfin said it has started receiving fewer requests than a year ago for agent representation in pricey coastal markets, which includes San Diego, of course.

While San Diego and the other markets are experiencing year-over-year declines in pending sales, homes still sell quickly and we’re not yet seeing sellers reducing their offer price.

Redfin noted that declines in searches, touring, and mortgage applications are larger in California than elsewhere.

Mortgage rates are shooting up at their fastest pace in history, sending the typical monthly mortgage payment for a buyer up $500 since Jan. 1.

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And while we’re on the topic of housing…What a difference a longer commute makes.

L.A.-based home builder KB Home has announced the grand opening of its Ridgeview project, a new-home development in San Marcos. The homes, ranging in size from 2,200 to 2,900 square feet, are priced from $1.3 million.

Up the road a bit in Riverside County, KB Home said it is now offering similarly sized new homes in Murrieta, which are priced from $680,000, about half the price of homes in San Diego’s North County.

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It’s not just homebuyers who find themselves in a roiling market.

Apartment search platform RentCafe has done a study on rent trends nationwide, which has produced some interesting findings for would-be renters in San Diego.

The website crunched the numbers to find how much one could get in terms of space for $1,500 a month,

In San Diego, not so much. Less than 500 square feet of space.

But if you go to Fallbrook, you can double the amount of your living space. 

Interestingly, Chula Vista ranked No. 20 among the 100 U.S. cities analyzed. 

There $1,500 will net you 598 square feet, about the size of a one-bedroom apartment if you can find one. The average apartment size there is close to 900 square feet.

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The Downtown San Diego Partnership has honored the port district and two of its contractors, Protea Properties and SLP Urban Planning, with an economic prosperity award for the revitalization of the once-ailing Seaport Village.

The award is part a partnership program to honor efforts to bring innovative ideas to the downtown economy. The award was presented at a ceremony last month.

Since the Port took over the Bay front tourist destination, Seaport has reduced vacancies to four from 20.

The port credits its success to its lease broker, Retail Insite, according to a news release.

The port says it has invested $8 million in Seaport Village since 2018.

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German air carrier Lufthansa conducted its first nonstop flight between San Diego International Airport and Munich last month.

It’s the first- nonstop service between San Diego and Munich, located in southern Germany.

Currently, the service is running three times a week, but will grow to five times in May. 

Lufthansa previously offered nonstop flights to Frankfurt until suspended in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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San Diego tech startup Mosaic said it has raised $25 million in a Series B round of financing that will be tapped to continue product development and its mission to transform how CFOs operate.

This funding round, which brings the total venture investment to $46 million, was led by VC firm Founders Fund, with participation from existing investors General Catalyst and XYZ Venture Partners

“Strategic finance is still trapped inside of Excel,” said John Luttig, an investor at Funders Fund. “Its platform brings financial planning into the modern era.”

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Clothing retailer Burlington Stores has opened a new store in Mira Mesa, bringing the total number of locations in the state to 95. Burlington, based in New Jersey, is a nationally recognized off-price merchant with sales of $5.8 billion. The company operates 832 stores in 45 states and Puerto Rico.

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San Diego’s Rhymes with Reason, which says it aims “to democratize English language literacy through music,” is launching an initiative with the Detroit Pistons and nonprofit SAY Detroit.

According to a news release, the initiative will enable Detroit students to cash in learning badges earned on the Rhymes with Reason platform for rewards including tickets to games played by Piston league affiliate Motor City Cruise Games.

Rhymes with Reason is a Black-owned business founded by Austin Martin, a recipient of one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 in education,

According to a release, the company says is programs have been utilized in over 200 schools across the country.

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Chicago multi-family developer Cedarst Cos. Said it is expecting to break ground soon in the North Park area on a 190-unit, $74.4 million complex that will offer a wide range of amenities, including a café, fitness center, game room, and exterior deck with pool, hot tub, and cabanas.

“We are thrilled to bring our distinct brand of apartments to one of the best submarkets on the West Coast,” said Cedarst executive Will Murphy. “We believe our high-quality and fairly priced apartments will be a fantastic new option for residents of these historic neighborhoods.”

The company said rents will be set at “an approachable price.”

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Finally, this worthy nonprofit item of note.

Childcare is a huge expense for most young families, but for military moms transitioning out of the service, finding affordable childcare can dictate their ability to stay employed and provide for their children. 

So the Foundation for Women Warriors has announced a drive to provide essentials for babies and is seeking community monetary support, which can be made through their Amazon Wishlist.

The money will be used to offset childcare costs while veterans pursue education and maintain their employment. Click here for more details.

“This past year, 77% of the veterans we served through our financial assistance programs were single parents,” said a spokeswoman. “For many first-time parents, purchasing baby essentials became a struggle that no one should have to face.”

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to [email protected].