San Diego resale home prices, as measured by the size-adjusted median price, were pretty much flat last month.

For those who like specifics, the median price per square foot was down by 0.1 percent from the prior month for both condos and detached homes.

This puts the size-adjusted median down 6.4 percent since February 2006. By this measure, detached home prices have fallen by 8.1 percent and condos by 9.3 percent since peaking in September 2005.

Two factors might influence home prices in the months ahead.

The first is that we are entering a period of seasonal price strength that occurs even during prolonged housing downturns.

The second is that the long-inevitable and now-unfolding subprime saga will likely result in a tightening of lending standards that could shut marginal home buyers out of the market while increasing the supply of must-sell inventory.

Which force will prevail? Readers will be unsurprised to learn that my bet is on the lenders. We will know for sure soon enough.

— RICH TOSCANO

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