For our next installment of the Neighborhood Market series, I’ve turned my attention to El Cajon. And I’d love your help — what do you know or want to understand better about its housing market?

I spent the afternoon there, chatting redevelopment and affordable housing with David Cooksy, the city official overseeing those efforts. Then I stopped by the Park Avenue housing development — 103 row homes built by Priest Development Corp. — and chatted about selling new houses in these tough market conditions with Rocky Rockwell, sales manager there. I’m headed back in the morning to check out condo conversions, and I’ll wrap what I find into a story this week.

Here’s what stood out so far as the big themes in El Cajon’s market.

  • Condo conversions: major, major activity this decade (see my 2007 story for more).
  • Rental vs. for-sale housing: the city has a 50-50 split between those types of housing, which El Cajon officials believe to be among the highest in the county.
  • City redevelopment dollars and community development funds building new houses for sale to low- and moderate-income households.
  • Bidding wars on low-priced listings, foreclosures, short sales.

What do you think? If you have something to add to this list, please comment below or drop me a line (


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