I wonder who's buying them...flippers or Chinese government officials loaded with money?
You are so funny Sean. No, regular people buy them (like people in my office). You don't have to be a millionnaire to buy a home here - that's a misconception. True that you will get a lot less for your money than other places, but if you are motivated enough to buy and are willing to compromise on the features of the home and/or location, it's totally doable.
To give you an idea, you can get a pretty decent condo for under 200K (good location). San Diego is not actually THAT expensive compared to places like San Fran and New York. And they aren't cheap in Chicago either if you want to be in a nice area.