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Most recent articles

SD Median Price Hits New Record

Glad to see the U-T relying on Rich for an explanation!

LINK

The San Diego County median home price hit $525,000 in April, passing the region’s previous peak reached in 2005, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

High demand and tight supply appear to have pushed the price beyond previous milestones. There were 3,618 homes sold in April — the lowest for that month since 2012.

Supply is dwindling, too. In April, there were 4,763 active home listings in San Diego County, said the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. That is down from 5,754 listings the same time last year and the 6,386 in 2015.

When adjusted for inflation, the nominal November 2005 peak of $517,500 would be roughly $644,500 in 2016 dollars. Still, the San Diego median price is noteworthy for increasing 7.4 percent in a year and outpacing most of Southern California.

Housing bubble fears are likely with the new median but home prices would have to rise 40 percent (assuming no income or rent growth) to be as overvalued as much as they were during the last peak, said Rich Toscano, who predicted the last housing crash on his blog Professor Piggington’s Econo-Almanac.

“Homes are definitely expensive when you compare purchase prices to rents and incomes,” he said. “They are the most expensive they’ve been outside the bubble. But, it still doesn’t compare to the expensiveness of the bubble.”

Toscano said low interest rates are keeping the monthly mortgage rates somewhat affordable and home valuations high.

“In theory, for as long as low rates persist, they could keep supporting the prices,” he said. “The big question is if that will continue to happen and the smartest people in the world disagree on that.”

There were 2,306 resale homes sold in April, bringing the median home price to $575,000, a new peak surpassing the previous record of $574,000 set in May 2006. The resale condo price was $385,000 with 1,108 sales — still $15,000 away from the peak set in April 2005.

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Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, Rich Toscano | 2 comments

Kayla’s Trendy Tuesday

Hello blog readers!

This is Kayla, Jim’s daughter, attempting my first blog post!

What are my interests? I absolutely LOVE interior design and learning about the upcoming trends for homes. Today, I’m going to share the new/current trends when it comes to redesigning a kitchen.

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where parents make their kids a brown paper bag lunch for school. It’s also where you prepare your Thanksgiving meal. Who wouldn’t want their kitchen to look the part?! Below I included a link to our Pinterest page that gives you ideas for your new look!

Trend #1 – Matte black.

From appliances to faucets, matte black is very timeless and chic. “An object with a matte finish seems to strip away all other distractions such as surface sheen, forcing the form of the object to speak for itself,” says Bobby Berk.

Trend #2 – Cerused Wood.

What the heck is cerused? It means to treat wood with a white pigment to make the grain more noticeable. This actually goes back to the 1600s during Queen Elizabeth I when it was used as a cosmetic – but don’t use it for your skin now, it is extremely toxic! This look was very popular in high-end homes, but now it has become more universal.

Trend #3 – Subway Tiles.

Now, Jim isn’t particularly a fan of subway tiles but I LOVE them! It definitely gives you that “farmhouse” look. It is very affordable, which is probably the main reason why people use this as a backsplash rather than a whole slab of granite or quartz. There are different ways you could use the tiles – horizontal, herringbone, etc! I saw a home in Carlsbad that had subway tiles with dark grout, which is less likely to show dirt aka less cleaning!

Trend #4 – Quartz Counters.

The price of granite slabs and other natural stone have come down enough that going with quartz counters doesn’t save you a ton, but it does give you a high-grade look and is virtually indestructible.  The extending of the counter down the side of a cabinet – know as a waterfall – completes the upscale appearance at a reasonable cost!

Here is a link to examples of each:

https://www.pinterest.com/klingerealty/2017-kitchen-trends/

I’ve also heard from a reliable source that the monochromatic white/gray look will be on its way out over the next couple of years.  Guess what will be coming back?  Earth tones!

Hope to see you back next week for #trendytuesday!

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in About Kayla, Jim's Take on the Market, Remodel Projects | 8 comments

Home Sales, Y-T-D

N.A.R. home-sales forecasts are a moving target. In October they guessed 6 million sales for 2017, and in December they said 5.5 million:

LINK

Single-family existing home sales are set to see their best year since 2006, driven by robust job gains and improving household confidence, according to the forecast from the National Association of Realtors.

While existing home sales are increasing, low levels of supply and rising affordability concerns are creating headwinds for sales and threatening the low homeownership rate.

The first quarter came in with the best sales pace for existing homes in a decade; NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects that pace to continue, finishing off 2017 with 5.62 million sales, the best pace since 2006. This would represent an increase of 3.5% from 2016.

And home sales aren’t the only thing predicted to rise. NAR also forecasts an increase of 5% in existing home prices in 2017.

However, starter home shortage continue to plague the housing market and discourage would-be first time homebuyers.

“We have been under the 50-year average of single-family housing starts for 10 years now,” Yun said. “Limited lots, labor shortages, tight construction lending and higher lumber costs are impeding the building industry’s ability to produce more single-family homes.”

“There’s little doubt first-time buyer participation would improve and the homeownership rate would rise if there was simply more inventory,” he said.

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The N.A.R. only talks about the annualized sales pace, which is murky. Let’s look at how the actual year-to-date sales compare with previous years:

Detached-home Sales Between Jan 1st and May 15th:

Year
# of SD County Sales
Median SP
# of NSDCC Sales
Median SP
2013
8,980
$425,000
1,136
$891,225
2014
7,699
$485,000
957
$1,009,020
2015
8,304
$510,000
1,066
$1,100,000
2016
7,965
$546,000
984
$1,140,000
2017
7,967
$580,000
1,000
$1,215,000

The 2017 NSDCC sales are tracking 1.6% ahead of last year, and if mortgage rates can hold around the current 4%, we should carry on. It feels like we have a maturing market though, and a general malaise could drift into the equation towards the end of the summer season.

Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, North County Coastal, Sales and Price Check | 2 comments

Zillow Instant Offers

If there was anyone left who still had doubt whether Zillow has the killer instinct, let this be the final piece of evidence to convince you.

Today they launched ‘Instant Offers’ which allows homeowners to submit a request for 15 investors to bid on their house.

https://www.zillow.com/instant-offers/

Zillow thinks that if they encourage sellers to hire an agent, it will be enough to appease their big-money-spending Premier Agents, because sellers will also have the option to engage with an agent regarding their home’s value.

But there is recent evidence to know how effective that program will be.

Zillow rolled out their big Seller Leads program at the last Premier Agent conference that we attended in Las Vegas last year.  We signed up for the 6-month program, figuring if it does catch fire, we’d want to be involved!

During our paid six months, we got one listing in Spring Valley.

Our advertising with them has been so ineffective that we quit all Zillow advertising this month.  Our listings will still be prominently displayed, but you won’t see me being part of the three-headed monster on the right-side of the listings in Encinitas and Carlsbad.

They have a good shtick, but in reality, the Zillow advertising being sold to agents works most effectively in the lower-end areas, where buyers and sellers aren’t connected to several agents already.

The Instant Offers program is likely to find a similar fate.

Zillow is attempting to capitalize the Open Door model, which has 200 employees operating in the Phoenix and Dallas markets, and has raised $320 million in venture capital.  Zillow probably feels the pressure, and figured they have to do something to compete with Open Door.

As we saw with Tom, not every homeowner is greedy.  There are those who would rather cash out quick than navigate the path to a retail sale – heirs to the estate, long-time landlords, etc., who just want to get their money!

Things that are likely to happen with Zillow’s Instant Offers:

  1.  The investors will hire great salespeople.
  2.  Agents will attempt to game the system.
  3.  Higher-end sellers will hesitate.

If the investors have great salespeople who convince sellers that their discount is worth the fast money, the program might work – whether the buyer is Open Door, Zillow, or Tom T!

https://www.inman.com/2017/05/22/11-burning-questions-about-zillow-instant-offers/

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Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, The Future, Zillow | 4 comments

Strict Code of Ethics?

Want to know how serious the National Association of Realtors is about our ‘strict Code of Ethics’?  They paid for this ad:

I love Phil Dunphy when he is playing a realtor on the show Modern Family, but this is different – he is representing the agents on the street in these ads.

We have a few seconds to impress upon the consumer how serious we take our Code of Ethics, and that’s the best we can do?

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Ethics, Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor | 0 comments

Mortgage Payments Are Optional

It’s been well-documented that Ben Bernanke and others told mortgage lenders in 2011 to not do anything to disrupt the economy, which was gov-speak for lay off the foreclosures.

Kamala Harris virtually outlawed foreclosures in California with the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights.  Lenders now have to offer a loan modification first to anyone in default, and it seems that you have to really not want your house to get foreclosed these days.

Here’s a borrower who has been in foreclosure since 2011, and by the looks of how the loan balance has risen, the neg-am has been accuring AND they haven’t made a payment.  The balance on the first mortgage has gone up $489,860!

I just received notice that the foreclosure process just got CANCELLED too.  Either the lender gave him a loan-mod, or they gave up altogether?

The lenders might foreclose if there is enough equity that they won’t lose money.  If it’s close, they let it ride, and hope some payments trickle in.

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Foreclosures, Jim's Take on the Market, No-Foreclosure as Banking Policy | 5 comments

Inventory Watch

Whoops.  We just had the lowest weekly total of new-pendings in two months.  So much for momentum carrying us through the graduation season!

Could it have been a slower week due to a Mother’s Day lull, or did the good weather over the weekend cause everyone to go to the beach?

The ‘selling season’ is wrapping up here in the next couple of weeks.  Don’t be surprised if the statistics bounce around for the rest of the year!

Week
New Listings
New Pendings
Feb 6
101
55
Feb 13
89
55
Feb 20
92
57
Feb 27
66
73
Mar 6
102
66
Mar 13
99
59
Mar 20
93
82
Mar 27
82
60
Apr 3
104
70
Apr 10
96
83
Apr 17
99
69
Apr 24
106
68
May 1
111
88
May 8
96
94
May 15
93
80
May 22
104
60

Maybe those new listings need some tips on getting ready to sell? Here is my article on PreparingYourHomeForSale.

Read More

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market | 0 comments