The size-adjusted median price for San Diego condos actually rose by 2.8 percent last month, but that isn’t saying much after last month’s 14.8 percent beatdown. And single family homes took their turn for some pain as the size-adjusted median dropped by 6.1 percent. Prices in aggregate dropped by 3.6 percent.

These are month-to-month changes — the total change from the peak is indicated in the accompanying graph.

A healthy portion of the recent declines in the size-adjusted median (as well as the unadjusted median) doubtless derives from the shift in activity towards lower priced homes. People are paying less, but also get less home for their money, meaning that the price of a given home isn’t actually dropping as much as the median. Distortions of this type are the reason that we focus so much on the Case-Shiller home price index, which models market prices by comparing same-home sales.

But while the median-based price indicators may be exaggerating the extent of the decline, it’s pretty clear that home prices are still falling.

— RICH TOSCANO

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