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VOSD Podcast: Mortgage Rates Are Low and Murder Rates Are Getting Higher

On this week’s show, housing market analyst talks about why home prices are high but home payments might not be, and Union-Tribune reporter Lyndsay Winkley sheds light and context on the city’s rising murder rate.

Home prices in San Diego are high, but that doesn’t mean we’re in the middle of a bubble that’s about to burst – it’s more complicated than that.

Rich Toscano, a financial adviser and housing market analyst, joined hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts to explain. He broke down the strangeness that’s happening in San Diego’s housing market right now.

“The especially interesting twist this time around is the interest rates are very low,” Toscano said, “rendering monthly payments actually pretty reasonable.”

Toscano dug into the historically tenuous relationship between interest rates and mortgage rates and answered everyone’s burning question when it comes to the housing market: Is it a good time to buy?

Spoiler alert: There’s no easy answer, but Toscano does get down to brass tacks. While prices are indeed a bit higher than they should be, it’s not absolutely nuts to buy a house right now.

Murders in San Diego Up Again

Murder rates in San Diego are up for the third straight year in a row.

Exactly 100 people were murdered in San Diego county last year, a number that’s been climbing since 2014.

San Diego Union-Tibune reporter Lyndsay Winkley joined the podcast to talk about her story that puts the alarming numbers into context.

For one thing, she said it’s worth remembering that San Diego is still pretty darn safe, especially when compared with other cities its size.

“San Diego still has the lowest murder rate among the top 10 biggest cities,” she said.

Winkley also explains that the number is confusing since other violent crime in the city has gone down. She added that crime statisticians are always quick to point out that the numbers don’t always point to a trend.

Also on the this week’s podcast, Lewis reacted to a letter sent by the local YMCA that said the organization would be raising membership prices due to the hiked minimum wage. Keatts and Lewis also talk about the SoccerCity plan that seeks to remake the Qualcomm Stadium site.

Hero of the Week

The California Supreme Court ruled this week that public business conducted by government employees on their own private cell phones or from personal email accounts is still subject to public record requests. It’s a big win for open government.

Goat of the Week

San Diego Unified gets the goat again for its continued refusal to provide clarity about what’s getting cut and what parents can expect after district officials are done shaving over $120 million from next year’s budget.

Subscribe to the VOSD Podcast on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Stream or download it here.

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