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Sandicor Divorce


The paperwork has been filed to dissolve Sandicor, our local MLS company.

A bitter fight among the three partners has been brewing all year.  Two of the three associations of realtors, NSDCAR and PSAR, want to join the efforts of CRMLS and their 80,000+ agents and help create a statewide MLS.

Why join forces with CRMLS?

  1.  Their MLS listings have more/better features.
  2.  Their consumer-facing website is superior.
  3.  Agents can have their listings uploaded to Zillow automatically.
  4.  They have the size and power to fight Zillow if needed.

But the third partner, the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, doesn’t want to join up with CRMLS, and instead wants to create their own consumer-facing portal.  Earlier this year they filed a lawsuit against NSDCAR and PSAR in order to gain full access to Sandicor’s listing data.

It’s a mess.

Like with most divorces, the people involved decide to part ways, rather than to keep bickering when there are fundamental differences in place.

What will the dissolution of Sandicor mean for consumers and agents?

There might be some uncertainty about having reliable access to the MLS over the next 6-12 months.  For now, the plan is to keep Sandicor up and running while a data-share agreement is implemented with CRMLS, which will give agents access to a second MLS.

As long as SDAR cooperates with that effort, everything should be fine.

However, the SDAR lawsuit is likely to linger.  According to their complaint, they have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars building their own consumer-facing website, only to be denied access to MLS data.

The courts are being asked to find a solution.

The biggest problem – which was solved by the creation of Sandicor in 1991 – is to have all of the San Diego County MLS data in one place.  If Sandicor is dissolved, and SDAR won’t join CRMLS, then SDAR will be left to create their own MLS.  Agents will have to go back to joining two associations, and working two different MLS systems, which isn’t the ideal solution.

What would I do if I were the judge?

I’d dissolve Sandicor, make SDAR join CRMLS, and then give them the data feed to create their own consumer-facing portal.

It might sound too simple, but in the long run, it is what’s needed.

One fear is that the access to the database of sold properties gets interrupted. If that happened, agents would be forced to find their comps at Zillow – wouldn’t that be a fine kettle of fish!

But we would survive.  Agents would migrate to the CRMLS – the only alternative solution – and within six months we would have a new database of sold comps.  Today there are over 300 active San Diego listings in CRMLS, so it is already happening.

I commend Raylene Brundage and other leaders for taking this dramatic step. It will probably get messier over the next few months, but in the long-term, agents want and need one solid, reliable MLS with a collective voice that is powerful enough to take on the outside disrupters.

Buying and selling homes is a big deal for the consumers.  They deserve to have the option of hiring agents who can guide them through the process in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

Having a robust statewide MLS with a voice will help agents do just that.

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Revolution, Zillow | 1 comment

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, August


The San Diego Case-Shiller Index barely moved in August, which is similar to last year too.  We had a big pop in July, and then a tame August reading in both 2015 and 2016.

Look forward to occasional negative readings from now on – that’s what happens in flatsville!

Here are the recent San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:

M-o-M chg
Y-o-Y chg
January ’15
January ’16

The highest reading of the San Diego NSA CSI was 250.34 in November, 2005.

Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Same-House Sales | 0 comments



Hippie communes from the 1960s are coming back in many alternate forms, and there are already several options. The U-T featured Outsite, an AirBnb-type of company but for workers who desire temporary living arrangements in exotic areas – including a block from the beach in Encinitas.

From their website

The foundation is laid for co-living: this type of accommodation is not a trend or fad that is going to disappear in a few years. Between the plethora of providers currently offering co-living spaces in every corner of the globe, and the massive interest that residents from all professional backgrounds and lifestyles show, co-living has appeal and support that will help establish it as a unique but valuable form of accommodation. Residents may stay anywhere from a few days to a few months, but the concept of co-living has a permanence that will last for years to come.

Co-living solves many of the problems that entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote workers face, such as finding quality space on short notice with minimal commitment. At the same time, co-living provides the added benefits of community, focus and inspiration.


Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Encinitas, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, The Future | 5 comments

Best Time in History

She’s not even a realtor!  From

Housing guru Ivy Zelman told CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” on Monday that “now” is the best time to buy a house.

“It’s the best time in the history of our country with mortgage rates that are below 4 percent that [renters] can actually lock in their fixed cost and create wealth for themselves,” she said.

The founder and chief executive of Zelman & Associates is known for calling the housing peak in 2005 and the housing bottom in 2012.

Zelman said this housing cycle is like a “tale of two markets.”

She said the entry-level market is beginning to accelerate, and builders’ trepidation is slowly beginning to fade as more people are beginning to move to the suburbs.

The market would seem to be in agreement with her on that. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF was trading up more than 1.15 percent Monday morning, and on pace for its best day since Sept. 22, when the XHB gained 1.11 percent.

On the other hand, she said the luxury markets in some cities are in the beginning see “a little bit” of a correction.

When asked about whether millennials will ever buy homes, Zelman said they are beginning to buy houses, but mainly those who are starting a family.

“What we’re seeing is that they want to go to the suburbs, millennials are buying and we have nearly 75 million of them just beginning to come through the pipeline,” she said.

Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions | 1 comment

Inventory Watch


If you are looking to buy a NSDCC house for less than $800,000, I have bad news for you – there are only 38 left for sale, which is the lowest number since we started tracking three years ago.  Last year at this time there were 87 for sale!

It won’t get better anytime soon either, and maybe never.

The last couple of years we have seen list prices jump 5% to 10% going into the spring selling season due to seller exuberance and lack of comps.  While there will likely be some market-stall initially, we won’t know for sure until May or June if buyers are willing to stage a full protest and stop buying.  By then, those on the lowest-ends of each market will rush in and grab something, and $800,000-and-under homes around NSDCC will evaporate.

P.S. If there is ever any major Sandicor bombshell news, you can bet I’ll have some thoughts on it!

Click on the ‘Read More’ link below for the NSDCC active-inventory data:

Read More

Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 in Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market | 0 comments

Income Needed


Wondering where to go next?

Above are some ideas, based on income – and let’s add that the median-priced home is probably the least-desirable option for someone coming from the NSDCC (you’d probably spend more).  When qualifying, they didn’t account for other bills either, so it’s all relative.

Hat tip to reader ‘just some guy’!

Posted by on Oct 23, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Tips, Advice & Links | 8 comments