With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, many folks searching for San Diego homes are thinking about their crush. But for nearly two-thirds of Americans, their crush is a home, reported HousingWire.com.

A home crush is defined as a home that is so adored that someone checks it out multiple times online. Of those who admitted to having a home crush, 64 percent say their home crush is within their price range. Conversely, 36 percent of people head-over-heels in love with properties, like one of the myriad San Diego luxury homes, simply cannot afford their dream home.

When asked how they’ve been “stalking” their crush, 94 percent called themselves cyber searchers. About 33 percent admitted to doing a drive-by and 22 percent use their mobile device to perform the search.

Much like in a real relationship, most homebuyers establish rules before pursuing their home crush. Considering their future with the home before they make an offer is a must to 73 percent of those surveyed, 73 percent search for extra baggage in the form of an inspection and 40 percent introduce their home crush to friends or family before making an offer.

Finally, the deal breaker for those surveyed greatly varied. For 77 percent of those polled, location was non-negotiable, 56 percent said the number of bedrooms/bathrooms would make-or-break their decision and 54 percent said it’s all about looks.

So if you’ve got a home crush this Valentine’s Day, just know you’re in good company.

By the Numbers: C.A.R.’s 2012 Annual Housing Market SurveyTaj Mahal-style dream house

Favorable home prices and record-low interest rates combined with high demand and a severe shortage of available housing have created a highly competitive market for San Diego homes, and many other California markets, with nearly six in ten home sales receiving multiple offers, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2012 Annual Housing Market Survey.”

Fifty-seven percent of home sales received multiple offers in 2012, the highest in at least the past 12 years, with each home receiving an average of 4.2 offers, up from 3.5 offers in 2011. Lower priced homes – typically real estate-owned (REO) or short sales – attracted more multiple offers than equity sales. Seven of 10 REO sales and short sales received multiple offers, while only half of equity sales received more than one offer.

“Well-qualified buyers are recognizing the once-in-a-generation opportunity to purchase a home in California and are jumping into the market,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold.

“However, the fierce market conditions have forced many buyers to compete with all-cash offers and investors, setting off multiple offers and bidding wars, making it even more difficult for first-time buyers to become homeowners.”

The competitive housing environment led to more properties being sold at or above the list price, with 41 percent of homes selling without a markdown from the asking price, the highest since 2005 and up from a long-run average of 32 percent.

Additionally, homes sold faster in 2012, with equity sales selling in 32 days compared with 67 days in 2011. REOs took 30 days to sell compared with 50 days in 2011, and short sales took 90 days compared with 141 days in 2011, reflecting the still-difficult process.

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