The pace of home-price appreciation in San Diego County remained steady in February, as the market got closer to its annual peak homebuying season.

The S&P Case Shiller Home Price Index showed Tuesday that prices for resale single family homes rose 4.7 percent from February 2014 to February 2015. The region’s pace of annual appreciation has hovered between 4.5 and 5 percent over the past six months.

“We’re steadying out the market,” said Mark Goldman, a loan officer and real-estate lecturer at San Diego State University. “We’re up against affordability. We’re seeing some positive impact of the jobs picture and so forth, and I think we’re just in a more stable market. One thing that would help us a lot is if we had some new housing units.”

In February 2014, the index showed home prices up 20 percent, largely due to investors fixing and flipping properties. Goldman said the pace is not sustainable because people eventually get priced out. He said, however, that the pace could pick up once the county enters its peak spring and summer homebuying season because of increased demand but low inventory.

The index, which lags two months, says home prices in the region are growing at a pace that is 13th out of the 20 cities it measures. The county index now stands at 206.25, which is the highest since November 2007, the month before the economic downturn began.

Nationwide, the 20-city composite is increasing 5 percent over the year, currently at 173.67. Home prices are rising fastest in Denver, up 10 percent over the year, and slowest in Washington, D.C., where they are up 1.4 percent annually.

David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones, said in a statement that home prices are continuing to outpace inflation and wage gains, but that supply is still an issue.

“While nationally, prices are recovering, new construction of single-family homes remains very weak despite low vacancy rates among both renters and owner-occupied homes,” he said.

San Diego’s housing market also picked up steam from January to February, when prices rose 0.8 percent, adjusted for seasonal factors such as the typical slowness at the beginning of the year.

This article was originally published in the San Diego Union Tribune and can be found HERE.