Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
More Links

Are you looking for an experienced agent to help you buy or sell a home? Contact Jim the Realtor!

Carlsbad
(760) 434-5000

Carmel Valley
(858) 560-7700
jim@jimklinge.com


Author Archive

Agent-Matching With A Twist

hustle

This is what happens when our industry leaders are asleep at the wheel - others keep jumping in to get their piece of the action.  These guys seem like just another agent-rating website, but they are a real estate brokerage too – and will co-list the property with the agent you select:

http://www.inman.com/2014/08/20/u-s-news-world-report-launches-agent-matching-tool/

An excerpt:

Launched in May 2013, Agent Ace uses patented technology to analyze a user’s location, home type and price range based on based home sales data to recommend the “single best agent for your needs — based on facts,” according to its website.

After a consumer asks to work with a recommended agent, Agent Ace offers the consumer’s business to the agent – usually by proposing to co-list or co-represent with the agent, but also sometimes through a referral agreement — in exchange for a slice of the agent’s commission if the match results in a sale.

The service doesn’t reveal the identity of an agent to a consumer until an agent has given express written permission for it to do so, Fawaz told Inman News.

The startup uses its status as a broker to acquire listings data and agent performance statistics from multiple listing services. It is licensed as a real estate brokerage in 43 states, has done several hundred transactions in the last few months, and has joined 140 MLSs, with that number “increasing every week,” Fawaz said.

Read full article here:

http://www.inman.com/2014/08/20/u-s-news-world-report-launches-agent-matching-tool/

Posted by on Aug 20, 2014 in The Future | 3 comments

More NAR Nonsense

Whether they merge or not, Zillow and Trulia are ahead of us. Let’s spend our dues on making realtor.com competitive!

http://nypost.com/2014/08/15/realtors-want-ftc-to-block-zillow-trulia-merger/

The National Association of Realtors — one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington — wants regulators to block the $3.5 billion merger of Zillow and Trulia, The Post has learned.

The two companies, which rely on advertising from real estate agents for the bulk of their revenues, are the leading Web sites for home listings.

The trade group’s similar offering, realtor.com, is a distant third.

The three are the only national real-estate sites of scale that show what properties sell for and list properties.

“People are grumbling about the merger,” a well-placed DC source said. “They are arguing there are only three” so there should not be further consolidation.

Read the full article here:

http://nypost.com/2014/08/15/realtors-want-ftc-to-block-zillow-trulia-merger/

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market | 3 comments

Natalie Klinge

It was quite a day today, but hey, they’re all great days!  I think we are as busy as we’ve been all year, and for one reason.

Logic and common sense are returning to the market.

They are being fueled by Zillow and Trulia, because they are providing a baseline – some place to start the investigation.  Every person I meet has already looked at Zillow first!

Zillow is pouring it on too - they are spending $75 million this year on advertising!  I hear them every day on sports talk radio, and with all their headlines, they have become the household name for real estate.

What’s next for consumers?

I hope the combined effect of higher prices, thin inventory, and low rates causes more people – both buyers and sellers – to use the tools, and be more methodical about their decisions.  Work with agents who bring extra value – especially those who employ effective sales strategies.

When the frenzy was cooking, buyers just wanted to grab a house, and they fired at will.

Many of the prices paid didn’t have much relation to the easily-found comparable sales. But the gamble paid off – they are in, and have probably gained some equity.

But now that prices are up 20%, people are being more cautious and deliberate – which is a great sign for the future of the local market.

The logic setting in can be seen in our actitve-to-pending ratio:

NSDCC Detached-Homes (Carlsbad-La Jolla)

Price Range
Active Listings
Pending Listings
A/P Ratio
Under-$1M
260
164
1.6:1
Over-$1M
886
195
4.5:1

Make no mistake – the lower end is still on fire.  The higher-end folks tend to price their homes to sit.  There are 323 houses for sale listed over $3,000,000, and the average market time is 153 days (eating up the entire selling season and still not sold).

But forget the statistics.

Today was monumental for many due to the first day of school – and we are no different.  Kayla’s sister Natalie started her senior year of high school today, captain of the dance team and in charge of her destiny:

nat 2014

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 in About Kayla, About the author, Actives/Pendings, Jim's Take on the Market, North County Coastal | 0 comments

Kickbacks

When you see the phrase, “Seller to Select Services’, it is code for the listing agent to dictate the escrow and title companies for your transaction.  The affiliated companies are big business, and the listing agent’s brokerage will typically get a piece of the pie – and it’s legal if they disclose it.

But some take it too far – HT to daytrip!

http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-harney-20140817-story.html

A new federal court suit alleging kickback violations by one of the country’s top-producing real estate sales teams raises an unsettling question for home buyers: Could your agent or broker be pocketing under the table large chunks of what you pay for title insurance?

Some legal analysts say the litigation should be a wake-up call for realty brokers and their customers nationwide. It focuses fresh attention on the often murky financial relationships that exist between title insurance agencies and realty firms — relationships that have been drawing increasing scrutiny from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore this month, alleges that Creig Northrop Team P.C. — a real estate group ranked among the highest-grossing nationwide in recent years — received payments totaling $1.3 million from 2001 to 2014 from a title insurance company, which the complaint characterizes as illegal “kickbacks” that were never disclosed to buyers. The plaintiffs also allege that the defendants used “sham” employment and marketing agreements to disguise the true nature of the payments.

Read More

Posted by on Aug 17, 2014 in Listing Agent Practices | 3 comments

Sales Effectiveness

When comparing active listings to pendings, we have called a 2:1 ratio ‘normal’.  It goes the same for total listings-to-solds; only half the listings sell in a normal market (which can be an abrupt lesson for sellers to realize that there’s a 50% chance of failure).

This isn’t a perfect measure below because it’s comparing the total listings taken in the same period as the sales closed (between Jan. 1 and July 31) but the sales include some listings from the previous period.  But to be able to gauge this year’s performance, it’s close enough – we’re comparing the ratios.

When the percentage gets around 60%, it’s frenzy time.

NSDCC Detached-homes Sold between January 1st and July 31st, and the Total Listings taken between January 1st and July 31st:

Year
Listings Sold
Listings Taken
Ratio of Solds/Total
2000
1,936
3,203
60%
2001
1,714
3,878
44%
2002
2,252
3,811
59%
2003
2,201
3,590
61%
2004
2,107
3,438
61%
2005
1,829
3,445
53%
2006
1,593
4,081
39%
2007
1,642
3,582
46%
2008
1,238
3,464
36%
2009
1,136
3,339
34%
2010
1,455
3,474
36%
2011
1,512
3,510
43%
2012
1,735
2,950
59%
2013
1,967
3,268
60%
2014
1,686
3,170
53%

We’ve had 14% fewer sales YoY, offset somewhat by 3% fewer listings.

For now, the market appears to be in good health – though our 53% is the same as it was in 2005. Note how the number of total listings tightened in 2003-2005, then popped loose in 2006 – will that happen next year?

Jumbo mortgage rates are in record territory, which should help keep the market alive the rest of the year:

Mortgage rates Aug 15

Posted by on Aug 16, 2014 in Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market, Sales and Price Check | 7 comments

More on July Sales

San Diego

Hat tip to Dennis for the cnbc.com report on July home sales in San Diego:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101919762

Their report references the DQ report from Wednesday:

2014 July sales

Downer Diana noted that last month’s total was a three-year low, but didn’t mention that the frenzy started in the second half of 2012. As long as we are comparing to frenzy months, the 2014 totals will be lower – no frenzy now.

Let’s consider how last month’s sales of San Diego detached homes compare to previous years:

Year
# of SD Detached-Home Sales in July
2000
1,958
2001
2,291
2002
2,364
2003
2,871
2004
2,603
2005
2,338
2006
1,644
2007
1,470
2008
1,979
2009
2,170
2010
1,777
2011
1,900
2012
2,211
2013
2,402
2014
1,905

The July, 2014 sales look pretty good, given how high prices are now, and how fast they rose. Higher mortgage rates helped to cool off the frenzy too.

As a community, we should prefer a non-frenzy environment.

But the media insists that something is wrong. Diana said, “California is often seen as a barometer for the rest of the nation’s housing market. If that is the case, then housing this fall is not looking good.”

It looks good to me!

We know that when sales start declining, prices usually follow. But Rob Dawg noted this benefit here – payments are still cheaper than before:

The typical monthly mortgage payment Southland buyers committed themselves to paying last month was $1,602, down from a revised $1,616 the month before and up from $1,537 a year earlier.

Adjusted for inflation, last month’s typical payment was 34.4 percent below the typical payment in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. It was 46.3 percent below the current cycle’s peak in July 2007.

http://www.dqnews.com/Articles/2014/News/California/Southern-CA/RRSCA140813.aspx

In some areas we will probably see a few homes sell for less – neighborhoods where long-time owners have loads of equity and can still make out nicely at 5% to 10% under comps. But with so little pressure, it’s more likely that sellers will cancel and wait until next year, rather than dump on price.

Sales will probably keep dropping with the only folks selling are those who deserve a premium price – the turnkey homes in good locations – which in turn will slow any price declines.

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, Sales and Price Check | 2 comments

Gen-X Leaving San Diego?

genx

Hat tip to W.C. Varones for sending in this article about Gen-Xers leaving San Diego because housing is too expensive – and taking their kids with them:

http://m.utsandiego.com/news/2014/aug/13/report-gen-x-leaving-san-diego-taking-their-kids/

From 2008 to 2013, a period that frames the Great Recession and its slow-growth economic aftermath, the overall population of San Diego County grew by 3.9 percent to 3.17 million people, according to Cunningham’s analysis of census data compiled by the California Department of Finance.

However, the population actually fell by 4.6 percent over the five years in Generation X, the demographic cohort from ages 35 to 49. And Millennials, the cohort from birth to 19 (and the largest group), fell by 1.9 percent, indicating enough Gen X families left town to offset births and immigration of young people.

W.C. asked me what my experience has been with Gen X families leaving town. I’m not your typical realtor, but I haven’t had many Gen-X families move out of the county lately – just 2 out of 66.

Here are the seller categories of my 66 non-REO listings since 2010:

Investors/landlords: 24

Move Up or Down (within SD County): 21

Estate Sales: 11

Job Relo Out of SD: 6*

Divorce: 2

Retired, left SD: 2

* Of the six who left town, two were Gen-Xers

I think analysts and reporters jump to conclusions, and for the data to move a couple of percentage points in either direction shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. They included this at the end:

Meanwhile, Baby Boomers and retirees arrived in relative droves, with both groups rising in population by more than 15 percent.

Real estate is for affluent people now, regardless of age.

http://www.nusinstitute.org/press/releases/San-Diego’s-vanishing-Generation-X.html

Posted by on Aug 14, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions | 13 comments