The median price per square foot of San Diego resale homes rose yet again in September. Prices by this measure rose 2.2 percent for detached homes, 5.5 percent for condos, and 3.1 percent for a volume-weighted aggregate of the two.

The following graph, displaying the median price per square foot since it peaked in 2005, shows that the condo series is quite volatile and that the series for detached homes gives a much better read of what’s going on.

Here’s an update of the graph showing the Case-Shiller index since its peak with estimated values for August and September. As I explained last month, this graph uses the detached home median price per square foot to predict what the Case-Shiller index will show for recent months when it finally comes out.

Assuming the projections are more or less correct, we can compare recent change to the index with those of the past. And that comparison is interesting. I estimate that the Case-Shiller index has risen 8.8 percent from its April low point — an increase that blows away any seasonal rally that took place in the 1990s downturn.

Whether the price increase will endure is a subject for debate, but it must be acknowledged that this is something quite a bit more than the typical spring/summer bounce.

— RICH TOSCANO

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