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The number of existing home sales closed in San Diego fell by 6.3 percent between January and February.  This is actually a fairly normal seasonal drop, February being a short month and all, but it comes on the heels of the unusually steep decline we saw in January.

As the blue line on the accompanying graph shows, 2010 sales have so far been lagging their year-prior comparisons.  This is a change from 2009, in which all but one month exhibited positive year-over-year sales growth.

Inventory increased for the month, which is also normal for February, although the 6.7 increase was slightly higher than what has been seen in recent years (the 2007-2009 average was an increase of 2.4 percent).

But despite the mild uptick, inventory remains low.  The number of months’ worth of inventory (inventory divided by the pace of sales) was at about six months — the lowest February reading for at least four years.

— RICH TOSCANO

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