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Daily Dose: House Prices, Foreclosures and More

Local events, weather, housing prices and foreclosures down from a year ago, need-to-know stories...

Events

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1 p.m. - The San Diego Association of Governments will continue a series of workshops on how specialized transit can fill service gaps for seniors, low-income residents and the disabled. Valley Center Community Hall, 28246 Lilac Road. Another meeting will take place at 3:30 p.m. at the Ramona Senior/Community Center, 434 Aqua Lane.

5 p.m. EL CAJON - The 12th season of Cajon Classic Cruise -- a weekly showing of classic cars along Main Street, between Claydelle and Sunshine avenues.

6 p.m. EL CAJON - Anti-substance-abuse advocates will lead the 17th annual Safe & Sober Prom & Graduation Forum. The three-hour event will feature exhibits and talks on school policies and laws regarding underage drinking and drug use; and youth performances demonstrating the social, health, legal and economic consequences of those behaviors. Community Room, El Cajon Police Department headquarters, 100 Civic Center Way.

Housing Prices

San Diego housing prices climbed 0.2 percent from January to February, but were down 3.9 percent from a year ago, according to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Housing Price Indices.

San Diego was one of three markets, of 20 around the country tracked by S&P, to record a monthly increase. The other two, Miami and Phoenix, also posted small gains.

For the annual rate, only six other markets had a steeper decline, according to the indices.

S&P took the average price of a home in each market in January 2000, set the value at 100, and have tracked the prices up or down ever since.

San Diego's index stood at 149.07 in February, signifying a 49 percent appreciation over a dozen years. That's the fourth-highest climb, behind only Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles.

The 20-city national index stood at 134.20 in February, down 0.8 percent for the month and 3.5 percent over the previous year.

"While there might be pieces of good news in this report, such as some improvement in many annual rates of return, February 2012 data confirm that, broadly-speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.

Blitzer said nine markets and the national indices hit post-housing crisis low marks. Atlanta's annual price decline of 17.3 percent is the worst in the history of the indices, he said.

Foreclosures

The number of San Diego County homes slipping toward foreclosure dropped by 12 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the same period last year, a real estate information service reported Tuesday.

Lenders sent default notices to 4,185 homeowners in San Diego County in the first quarter, down from the 2011 first-quarter total of 4,758, according to San Diego-based DataQuick.

Statewide, default notices were sent to 56,258 homeowners in the first quarter of the year, DataQuick reported. That was an 8.5 percent drop from the previous quarter's 61,517 notices and down 17.6 percent from the first quarter in 2011, when 68,239 default notices were sent.

Last quarter's number of default notices was at its lowest level in nearly five years.

"Prices peaked five years ago and then started to fall off a cliff," said John Walsh, DataQuick president. "Foreclosure activity goes up when property values decline, and the worst of that decline was happening three years ago. Right now, property values in many areas appear flat."

Default notices do not always lead to a home foreclosure, according to DataQuick. Some homeowners emerge from the foreclosure process by bringing their payments current, refinancing or selling the home.

-City News Service contributed these posts

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