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The Tragically Hip

The Pearl Jam shows at Fenway Park and Wrigley Field were likely candidates for Wednesday Rock Blogging this week, but you have to admire this guy who wrapped up his tour, and his career with this song.

The lead singer has been diagnosed with brain cancer, and this is his final show:

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in Wednesday Rock Blogging | 0 comments

Existing Home Sales, July, 2016


Our N.A.R. head cheerleader does his best at fabricating a believable story behind the 3.2% drop in existing-home sales:

Lawrence Yun, N.A.R. chief economist, says existing sales fell off track in July, after steadily climbing the last four months.  “Severely restrained inventory and the tightening grip it’s putting on affordability, is the primary culprit for the considerable sales slump throughout much of the country last month”, he said. Realtors are reporting diminished buyer traffic because of the scarce number of affordable homes on the market, and the lack of supply is stifling the efforts of many prospective buyers attempting to purchase while mortgage rates hover at historical lows.

He needs to follow me on twitter.  I’ve already pointed out twice that there were 9% fewer days in July than in June – and sales only dropped 3.2%?  Sounds like a positive to me.

But instead he feeds his typical bather to America, and leaves it up to the consumers what to make of it.

He should also point out that 2015 was a hot market, with summer sales exceeding those during the super-frenzy of 2013.  Yet sales over the last four months have been close or surpassed those in 2015!  Even with the two fewer days, look how July, 2016 compares to previous years – it was better than 2013!

Yunnie needs say, “Remember, real estate is local”, to end all of his speeches.  This national data and his blunder of an explanation shouldn’t have any impact on local market conditions.  But they could make a difference if casual readers just grab a headline and decide to pack it in for the year.  Thanks Yunnie – you’re supposed to be on our side!

The local scoop:

July, 2013
July, 2014
July, 2015
June, 2016
July, 2016
NSDCC # of Sales
SD Co # of Sales
SD Co Median SP

NSDCC detached-home sales in July dropped 12% compared to June, with 9% fewer business days. With higher prices, sales should be declining – and for them to drop a net 3% sounds good to me. House sales in San Diego County dropped 9% month-over-month – let’s call it even.

P.S. Regarding his comment that realtors are reporting diminished traffic, it’s because you are sitting on over-priced listings. Lower the price and get in the game, or go get another listing!

Added later – looks great:

months supply


Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, North County Coastal, Sales and Price Check, Why You Should List With Jim | 3 comments

Dogs and Real Estate


Dogs are people too! A few examples of how dogs influence real estate decisions. H/T to daytrip:

Two excerpts:

“These are people who have a great deal of empathy,” Dr. Kagle said, “so they worry about their pets as they would worry about another human being — though some have been known to carry it to extremes.”

That group might well include the couple whose elderly dog had a pet peeve about being stuck in New York traffic. “They had a weekend house and they wanted their primary residence to be close to the F.D.R. so they could get out of town quickly for the sake of the dog, because otherwise he would get very stressed,” said Barbara J. Dervan, an associate broker at Fox Residential Group. The solution: an apartment on East End Avenue.

Three years ago, when Mr. Saville, 39, a marketing manager at Pernod Ricard U.S.A., the wine and spirits company, moved to New York from Miami, he knew what he wanted: a walk-up, preferably in a brownstone; failing that, an apartment on a high floor with a grand view of the city. Dreams, dreams, idle dreams. None of this was going to work for Wesley, Mr. Saville’s harlequin Great Dane. Climbing stairs would have been tough on Wesley’s legs, so an elevator building was a must. But an apartment high in the sky, Mr. Saville’s preference, wouldn’t have served Wesley’s needs, either.

“I wouldn’t say I’m ruled by my dog, but I have to give up a certain number of things because of him,” Mr. Saville said. Despite his own preferences for an eyeful of cityscape and sky, he looked for a vacancy on the lowest floor available.

“Elevators can stop at every floor and when there’s an emergency and Wesley’s got to go, being able to get out of the building quickly was important.” Also important: a bedroom large enough to accommodate a California king bed — another Wesley-driven necessity, because the dog bunks down with Mr. Saville. Oh, and the apartment had to have a washer and dryer. It seems that Wesley sheds.

Read full article here:

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions | 2 comments

Zillow: “Is The Party Over?”


Zillow is the latest to suggest that the ‘market’ might be slowing.

But looking at their own graph, it looks like the monthly percent change begins to decline every year at the end of summer. The second graph also shows that sales are at a new peak – if it fell off a bit we should still be fine.

But all that matters is what readers glean from the headlines and a quick scan.

Maybe it’s just a seasonal thing. This guy was spewing doomer talk in 2014!


From Zillow:

z july 2016

  • Zillow expects existing home sales to fall 1.9 percent in July from June, to 5.46 million units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), ending a string of four consecutive monthly gains.
  • New home sales should fall 6.65 percent to 553,000 units (SAAR) after a stronger than expected June.
  • Given the recent string of home sales beating forecasts, we view risks to the upside and would not be surprised if results are slightly stronger than we expect.

Thus far, it has been a pretty sweet ‘16 for home sales. But according to our July home sales forecast, the party looks like it could be coming to an end, at least temporarily and especially for sales of existing homes that must eventually face the harsh reality of tight inventory and rising prices.

Despite tight inventory, existing home sales have been surprisingly buoyant lately, beating or meeting expectations in each of the four months from March to June. We expect that streak to end in July. If nothing else, the odds that home sales continue to rise are increasingly dim. Since the series began in February 1999, runs of five months or more of consecutive monthly gains have only occurred five times – and only one of those streaks lasted six consecutive months or more.[1]

Shifting seasonal patterns may be behind some of this apparent resiliency. By some reports, the height of the home shopping season – historically most concentrated during the summer months – shifted earlier this year as buyers sought to get ahead of the competition. But sooner or later, tight supply and rising prices should take their toll.

Our forecast for existing home sales points to a 1.9 percent decline from June to 5.46 million units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) (figure 1). This would place existing home sales down 0.3 percent compared to a year earlier.

Read full report here:


Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Forecasts, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Buzz, Market Conditions, Zillow | 2 comments

Inventory Watch

2016-08-20 15.43.32

There has been more hubbub about the market changing, but around San Diego, the stats look solid and remarkably similar to previous years.  Our NSDCC new pendings are staying in a tight range – in the 60s for the last six weeks straight, and generally the inventory is in check – no explosions.

Rich’s additional qualifier of dividing the inventory by the number of sales to determine the “months’ of resale inventory” here helps to show how sales are holding up too:


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

Read More

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market | 0 comments

Real Estate Investing

investing more

If you’re closing in on retirement, trying to put your money to work in a zero interest rate world is not an easy job. Financial writers and gurus are obsessed with the stock and bond markets. But despite the lack of attention, many Americans have fallen in love with real estate as an investment option.

  • 28 million Americans are real estate investors (according to data shared by in 2013)
  • 35% of Americans now believe real estate is the best long-term investment (Gallup), compared to 32% who favor stocks
  • Stock ownership is at a low point: Just over 50% of Americans have money invested in the stock market (Gallup)

Americans may believe in real estate, but they don’t necessarily do anything about it when it comes to retirement. Real estate plays only a minor role in most people’s retirement portfolios, according to USA Today, and there are three good reasons.

  1. Liquidity. Stocks and bonds are much easier to buy and sell.
  2. Fear of bubbles. Many investors (and homeowners too) were traumatized by the credit crisis of 2008 and 2009 when the U.S. housing bubble burst.
  3. Too complicated. Investing in real estate can seem very complex because there are multiple ways to own real estate.

Most financial advisors lean heavily on the stock market for retirement for these reasons. Then there’s the not unimportant fact that stock investors have seen massive gains over the past five years.

The issue is what will happen in the next five years and beyond. There are now big questions about how long the bull market will last, and fixed-income investments are paying less and less. All are good reasons to consider what role real estate could play in your retirement portfolio.

Read full article here:

Posted by on Aug 21, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Real Estate Investing | 4 comments

Pop-Up Staging


This might work at the entry level, but higher-priced homes deserve the full treatment:

Pop-up staging, a new, inexpensive method that can eliminate the cost of not only hiring a stager, but also renting, transporting and storing décor and furniture. Flat-pack pieces made of lightweight materials like cardboard and corrugated plastic “pop up” in each room, effectively setting the scene as real housewares (and stage productions!) would.

One pop-up sets provider, Dandy Pack, purveys slip-covered cardboard furniture sturdy enough to withstand 1,000-plus pounds without collapsing. The company’s starter kit, which includes a full/queen bed, a sofa, an oversized chair and an ottoman, costs $1,031. The pieces, which ship in as few as two business days, can be assembled by the listing agent or the seller, further controlling costs.

Posted by on Aug 20, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Staging | 2 comments