News & Views
One of the great debates these days is whether it is
cheaper to buy a home or rent. Well, a new report from Trulia finds
it depends on where you live. For instance, in Detroit it costs an
amazing $338 a month in mortgage and other expenses to own a home, while
renting in the Motor City would cost you $1,138, a 70 percent
difference. At the other end of the spectrum is San Francisco, where
ownership costs are $2,273 a month compared to renting at $2,819,
just a 19 percent difference. San Diego comes
down toward the middle of the survey with ownership costs here at
$1,296 a month versus $1,947 to rent, a difference of 33 percent.
Of course, low mortgage interest rates tip the scales toward owning a
home, and prices -- while rising quickly -- still are affordable.
And, yet another real estate report, this one from Redfin, finds San
Diego is one of the six fastest-selling real estate markets in the
country. The calculation is based on the
number of homes sold in two weeks or less. All six of the communities
are in California -- gee, imagine that -- with San Jose the fastest
with 63 percent of sold homes selling in less than two weeks. San
Diego at 49 percent. By the way, Boston was the slowest selling
market in the country with only 3.7 percent of its listed properties
selling in less than 14 days of being listed.
Contrary to national trends, apartment rental costs in San Diego
County are declining. The apartment association here says the average
monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city of San Diego
fell to $1,193, down from $1,285 five years ago. Countywide, the
price fell to $1,089, down from $1,177 five years ago. However, that
could be changing. Alan Nevin of The London Group said, "The
combination of new job formations, households undoubling and the
negligible addition to the rental housing inventory will result in a
very tight apartment market in 2013 with rising rents."
report from the Commerce Department showing new home construction
activity rose sharply in March, up 7 percent to more than 1 million
units on an annualized basis, was extremely important and, of course,
underreported. Building more homes requires more construction
workers, people who have really suffered through the housing debacle.
Considering the pent-up demand for housing, builders may soon be
facing a serious shortage of skilled craftspeople. Consider this: A
report this morning from Trulia finds 75
percent of people surveyed say it is better to buy a home now than to
wait until a year from now. Forty-two
percent of people survey regret renting rather than buying a home.
"As prices rise in 2013, buyers are impatient while would-be
sellers are holding back. Faced with limited inventory, many buyers
will feel pressure to act fast, but snap decisions often end in
regret. Even after the housing crisis, Americans main housing regrets
are they didn't invest more in their homes," said Trulia chief
economist Jed Kolko