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Something strange is happening in the San Diego housing market. And I’m not talking about how, remarkably, people are still asking $800,000 for tiny, post-war worker housing.

You may have noticed this situation in your own neighborhood: a house goes on the market for an absurd price, sits on the market for months without occupants and then, suddenly, the For Sale sign is gone.

Then someone moves in despite the fact that the sellers never put up a “Sold” sign. Did the house sell or did it not sell? Or is it being rented, and if so, how come no one ever put up a “For Rent” sign? Or did the original family move back in or get a friend to rent the place?

I have to assume, especially in a market like this one, that if someone sells their home, they’re going to put up a Sold sign. Am I right? If it just happened once, I might not even have noticed, but I have seen this happening all over my neighborhood and it seems to be extending to rentals. I’ve seen more than one rental go unleased for a month only to see the sign removed while the house sits empty. What’s going on?

— CATHERINE HOCKMUTH

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