Gay Realty Watch: San Diego, California

Solana Beach, San DiegoWe continue our look into local real estate markets with large gay and lesbian communities. Today, sunny San Diego – from the Oh-So-Gay Hillcrest District to Little Italy and Old Town to Artsy Solana Beach.  Here’s what’s going on in San Diego real estate this month:

REAL ESTATE: Key permit measure hits zero in October - Commercial and industrial construction fell as low as it could in October: Not a single builder applied for permits to put up new buildings in either category in San Diego and Riverside counties, the first month that’s happened since researchers started tracking the data in 1988, a building industry nonprofit said Tuesday.

A Garden for Southeastern San Diego - Three months after a few poor farmers were kicked off a decades-old community farm for lack of permits, an empty parcel about a mile away is close to becoming southeastern San Diego’s first formal community garden. Last month, the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. approved a short-term lease with a local nonprofit that plans to turn a half-acre of undeveloped city land in the Mt. Hope neighborhood into a local farm.

DEL MAR: Battle lines drawn in fairgrounds sale - The battle over ownership of Del Mar Fairgrounds and racetrack is about to heat up.  Political strategists have been hired, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association is evaluating the merits of the sale, and lobbyists are lining up in Sacramento. News of Del Mar’s proposal to buy the 400-acre complex along the city’s shoreline for $120 million last month touched off a heated debate among politicians and business leaders. Some Sacramento lawmakers want to sell off the fairgrounds and worked over the past year with Del Mar officials and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Department of General Services in closed-door meetings on crafting a deal.

Southern California Real Estate Activity Still Depressed In October - Southern California home sales dropped in October to their lowest level in three years amid doubts about the drawn-out housing recovery, tight mortgage lending and the expired homebuyer tax credit. The median price paid for a home rose on a year-over-year basis for the 11th consecutive month, but was the year’s smallest increase with just a 1.1% uptick in pricing over October 2009, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.

HOUSING: Sales plunge in North County - House sales fell precipitously again in North San Diego County in October, reaching a level not seen since March 2008, according to data from a Realtors group.  House sales in North County fell to 614, off 14.8 percent from September and 20.5 percent from October 2009, according to the North San Diego County Association of Realtors. The last time house sales fell this low, in spring 2008, house prices were in free fall. Last month, the median house price in North County slipped 2.1 percent from September to $465,000 in October, but remained 8.1 percent above the October 2009 median price.

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