In a somewhat gruesome milestone for the beleaguered San Diego housing market, the low-priced tier of the Case-Shiller home price index has now dropped by more than half since it peaked in June 2006.

Specifically, the low-priced index was 50.4 percent below its peak value as of February, the most recent release of the Case-Shiller index. The mid-priced tier had declined by 39.3 percent and the high-priced tier by 32.6 percent from their respective peaks. The aggregate index had fallen by 41.4 percent.

As I’m fond of pointing out, the bloodshed in the low-priced tier has been more than anything else the flipside of the out-of-proportion rise that took place among low-priced homes during the boom:

In lighter news, the monthly decline in the index values was fairly tame by recent standards. Between January and February, the low-priced tier fell by 1.7 percent, the mid-priced tier by 1.1 percent, and the high-priced tier by a mere .3 percent. Similarly, the year-over-year rate at which prices have declined improved noticably:

Prices were still dropping, of course — just at a slightly less terrifying rate. That’s about as upbeat as the housing-related news gets these days.

— RICH TOSCANO

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