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San Diego is #5 in U.S.A.

From the

An excerpt:

Orange County is the third-most-expensive housing market in the country, with two other chunks of the Southland ranking in the top 10.

That’s according to a new report out Tuesday from the National Assn. of Realtors, which measured the median price of homes sold in the second quarter. Orange County’s median — the point at which half of homes sold for more and half for less — hit $691,900 in the quarter, trailing only the San Jose and San Francisco metro areas.

The San Diego area ranked fifth at $504,200 and metro Los Angeles — Los Angeles County — ranked ninth at $420,300. Even the relatively inexpensive Inland Empire sat 21st — pricier than Miami; Austin, Texas; or Chicago — with a median of $274,600.

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Sales and Price Check | 0 comments

Doomer Report

This guy only sees negative in the real estate world.  He called me once trying to get me to bash the market, and when I refused, he hung up.  Even today he is still ranting:

Real estate analyst Keith Jurow, author of the Capital Preservation Real Estate Report, is warning that the real estate market is not as strong as it seems.

Says Jurow: “I never bought into the idea that we had a recovery at all.” His research leads him to conclude that home prices will be heading lower.

His research? Because the Case-Shiller Index is still rising, just not as fast – that means prices will be heading lower?  There are plenty of reasons you could use to justify the doomer position (wars, unemployment, unaffordability, earthquakes, etc.), but smaller increases are a weak excuse.

He also thinks we will still have a surge of foreclosed properties to come, just because their are so many people delinquent.  But once you miss a few payments and ruin your credit, the delinquent homeowners might as well ride it out until they get the boot.

How are the San Diego foreclosures?

Some said they dropped off because of the Homeowners Bill of Rights, which was released two years ago and became law on January 1, 2013.   The bansk have had plenty of time to adjust – here’s how they are doing:

San Diego County Filings

San Diego County Trustee-Sale Results

It’s hard to believe that people just go back to making their payments, whether they get a loan mod or not.  The banks will wait until they can make money by foreclosing, which around the coastal markets, should be after another 10% appreciation or so.  Until then, why foreclose and lose money?

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Foreclosures, Foreclosures/REOs, Jim's Take on the Market, No-Foreclosure as Banking Policy | 8 comments

Make the Deal


Forget the price point, it’s the deal-making that is interesting about this case.  The sellers of this home just acquired it last week as part of a home swap, and before closing I had arranged for vendors to do a quick tune-up.  We hit the ground running, and $10,000 worth of new carpet, paint, and lighting got it ready for market in a week.

It listed for $398,000 on Saturday, and yesterday the model match across the street (listed for $392,000) went pending. It came back on market today, and they raised their price to the range $395,000-$405,000.

What do we do?

Lower our price to $389,000 – we want to be the next one to sell:

Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 in Bubbleinfo TV, Listing Agent Practices, Why You Should List With Jim | 1 comment

“Trend Towards Rentership”

Hat tip to GW for sending in this discussion on today’s market conditions:–shari-olefson-155251001.html

An excerpt:

Home prices appear to be moderating but that’s good news says Shari Olefson, CEO of The Carnegie Group. “Those big increases that we saw last year were not sustainable and in general we’re still seeing an upward trend when you look at the big picture,” she says.

Still, it’s not all roses for Olefson. “What I wasn’t happy with are some of the trends we’re seeing in new construction,” she notes.

New homes sales fell by 2.4% from June to July, yet July’s new homes sales were up 12.3% from the previous year. “New construction appears to be up significantly from last year but when you dig beneath the surface what’s up are multifamily homes,” says Olefson. “Single family homes are up by just 1% which defies logic because we’ve had over 3 million single family units that have been converted to residential rentals.”

Some believe that these numbers mean that housing is approaching normal levels, but Olefson disagrees. She sees more potential buyers turning into renters and believes there’s a lack of suitable housing and loan products for what people can afford now.

Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 in Market Conditions | 4 comments

Thank You Ben!

Ben at HousingTracker has called it quits:

Update 8/25/2014: It’s been 9 years since I started HousingTracker as a personal project to try to gain insight into rapidly changing home prices during the housing bubble. There wasn’t nearly as much data available then as there is now, and I was happy to make a very small contribution towards improving that situation. In 2014 there is a lot more data available and most of that data is better than what I can provide — especially considering recent challenges of maintaining data quality. As such, I’ve decided to end the HousingTracker project.

If you’re looking for asking price and inventory data, my favorite source is Zillow’s data page specifically the For-sale inventory (raw) csv and the Median list price csv. It’s not quite as timely as HousingTracker data, but it has broader coverage and is likely more accurate.

Thanks for visiting!

Unfortunately the little guys – those who have the best local insights – are giving way to the corporate behemoths.  Others who have stopped their personal internet projects include OC Renter, Schahrzad, and Kris Berg, and I haven’t seen any new ones taking their place.

It seems inevitable that we will led around by the economists and corporate CEOs, and getting fed those vague national and statewide statistics that don’t help much at the local level.  If anyone is thinking of starting a local blog, now would be a great time!

Here’s the latest from Ben regarding the San Diego market:


Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 in Local Flavor | 5 comments

SD Case-Shiller, June 2014

case shiller june 2014

The increases in the local Case-Shiller index have slowed, and we’re no longer in that sexy 1% to 3% per month frenzy era of 2013.  But it’s still increasing monthly – it would take a few negative readings to get anyone’s attention now.

P.S. Today’s reading is 41% higher than it was in April, 2009 (203.32 vs. 144.43).

These are the Case-Shiller Index NSA changes below for San Diego:

Jan ’13
Feb ’13
March ’13
April ’13
May ’13
June ’13
July ’13
August ’13
September ’13
October ’13
November ’13
December ’13
January ’14
February ’14
March ’14
April ’14
May ’14
June ’14

Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 in Same-House Sales | 2 comments

What’s Holding Back Buyers

This guy says there are 5-6 million people who were or could be homeowners but are on the sidelines – the buy vs. rent equation isn’t compelling enough.

She says these potential buyers don’t have the down payment and don’t know about FHA, but she might be guessing.  Though FHA is very expensive and caps out at $546,250, it’s definitely a viable option in San Diego County.  Of the 14,129 house sales this year, 1,459 of them (10%) have been financed via FHA.

Remember when we said that the market would be seasoned when we see more FHA and VA purchases…..the bidding wars would have died down, and buyers with more horsepower have passed on those deals?  Here are the percentages of FHA+VA loans used to purchase SD houses:

2011 = 35%

2012 = 31%

2013 = 25% (FHA got tougher in June, 2013)

2014 = 25%

There are more VA loans than FHA this year (59% vs 41%).

Posted by on Aug 25, 2014 in Interest Rates/Loan Limits, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, Mortgage News | 3 comments