Great time to buy property Downtown San Diego.

My clients from Arizona took Advantage of this great opportunity.

Time to get out there and get your slice of the Downtown San Diego market. My clients sent me this article from the Arizona Republic and it makes perfect sense.

“For Zonies with serious San Diego addictions, there could be an upside to falling real-estate prices.

A condo-market meltdown has put the dream of owning a piece of downtown San Diego within the reach of more Valley residents.

Tightening credit and pain caused by rising payments on subprime loans have put the brakes on new-condo sales, While still lofty, prices for some units are now more than 30 percent below previous highs and still falling.

A new 725-square-foot “bank-owned” studio, two blocks from the San Diego Padres’ ballpark, is listed at $189,900, down from $289,900 at the end of September.

“Prices are at least starting to make sense,” said Stanley Paul Cook, a former Phoenix resident who is now a San Diego real-estate consultant.

He noted that real-estate speculation over the past few years pushed average San Diego home prices near $700,000, making it one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets.

But the deals probably won’t last. Construction of new condos has dramatically slowed, and when the existing units are sold, prices are expected to creep up. After all, it is San Diego, still one of the country’s most desirable places to live.

Falling mortgage rates and a possible increase in the size of loans that can be sold to government-backed agencies also could help jump-start the stalled market. And there is increasing interest from foreign buyers who get an additional discount due to the weak dollar.

But for now, terms like “short sale” and “lender-owned” have become the bywords of the real-estate market downtown, along with “desperate” and “make offer.”

Lockboxes for real-estate agents cover railings outside buildings. Inside, residents come home to find foreclosure notices on their neighbors’ doors.
Tiny ‘treasures’
The building boom, spurred by an aggressive downtown redevelopment effort and the construction of the Padres’ Petco Park, brought thousands of new condominium units to downtown San Diego in the past few years.

Real-estate speculators fueled the frenzy, flipping (selling, often before taking occupancy) properties from building to building while creating an artificial demand that sent prices through the roof. “The market was so good and prices were going up so fast that we were oblivious to any kind of a peak,” said Ken Baer, an agent with Willis Allen Real Estate in San Diego. “We knew things were high but thought they would keep going up.”

Unit 211 in Discovery at Cortez Hill, for example, sold in 2002 for $409,000 and in 2004 for $699,000. The unit sold to a Phoenix couple in December for $470,000.

Downtown, there are more than 1,000 condominiums on the market in a roughly 125-block area. That is up from 700 last year and 500 in 2005.

Of the 1,000 units, about 400 are in new buildings that are just being completed.

Most of the others have been built within the past few years, and many, bought by speculators, have never been lived in.

They are generally small. One-bedroom and studio units, some under 500 square feet, make up the largest category of unsold condos on the market.

“An entry-level condo that sold for $400,000 a year ago is practically impossible to sell at that price in this market,” said San Diego real- estate agent Mark Mills. As a result, prices are dropping fast for the small condos, and many are landing in foreclosure.

Some frustrated owners, now struggling to sell their properties, blame the developers for building so many small units.

But with the high cost of land and construction, Mills noted the tiny condos were the only way some developers could make their projects make economic sense.

The Centre City Development Corp., a non-profit agency that is spearheading the redevelopment of downtown San Diego, reported that the agency has assisted in the development of 7,200 condominium units in more than 50 projects downtown since 2001.

That has helped push the downtown population to 30,000 from about 10,000 at the start of 2000. Another 60,000 are forecast to move downtown, bringing the population to 90,000 by 2030.

“You can’t beat it. Everything is close by,” said Gary Smith, a longtime downtown resident and president of the Downtown San Diego Residents Group. “You drive to the golf course on weekends but walk to everything else.”

Although new construction has fallen off dramatically, more than 1,300 units are expected to be completed in the next two years. Thousands more have been approved and are waiting to be built.””

I remember when you could not purchase anything Downtown San Diego for under $300,000.00. Times have changed and now is a great time to get that 2nd home or relocate to this wonderful city.

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