The Case-Shiller index of San Diego home prices declined in September.  For the month, the low-priced tier dropped 1.6 percent, the middle tier 1.1 percent, and the high tier .1 percent.  The aggregate index fell by .8 percent.

September is typically a weak month for home prices.  When that negative seasonal influence is backed out, the decline was less severe (in fact, the high tier actually rose).  Still, though, the direction of the market has been pretty steadily downward since the tax credit stimulus ceased to be back in mid-2010:

Returning to the non-seasonally-adjusted numbers, here’s a look at the Case-Shiller index numbers since the bubble-era highs.  Since the peak, aggregate home prices have fallen by 39 percent.

That last graph doesn’t account for the ever-declining purchasing power of the dollar.  This is an important distinction, because inflation helps to mask the magnitude of the actual decline in home values.  The next graph shows Case-Shiller prices since the peak again, but this time they’ve been adjusted for inflation:

Since the peak, “real” (inflation-adjusted) home prices by this measure have fallen by 47 percent.  It’s tough to see on the graph, but this is slightly lower than the previous trough in early 2009.  Real San Diego home prices have just hit a new post-bubble low.

Rich Toscano is a financial advisor with Pacific Capital Associates*.  He can be contacted at

Rich Toscano

Rich Toscano has been observing the housing market for Voice of San Diego, with the occasional prolonged absence, since 2006. Follow him on Twitter at...

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