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Author Archive

Zestimate Accuracy in SD

Anybody can evaluate a tract home with accuracy - the custom homes are much tougher, and depend more on personal visits.  If you are in a custom area, hit the open houses (sellers and buyers)! 

An excerpt from USAToday.com:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/09/01/zillow-trulia-spencer-rascoff-q-and-a/14703979/

Zillow employs a team of economists who contribute to the Zillow Real Estate blog and release market data that competes with similar research from Case Shiller and others.

The company makes no money off the data but does it for audience growth. “We have a $10-million-a-year expense item for all this,” Rascoff says.  “It goes much beyond PR,” he says. “This is data analytics.”

For Zillow users, the company’s trademark “Zestimate” is a way to gauge how much a home is worth. The company produces 110 million Zestimates three times a week, Rascoff says.

The margin for error can vary a lot by region and locale. In San Francisco, “we give ourselves two stars, which is not very good.”

In San Diego, “we give ourselves four stars.”

The wide range has to do with lots of different things, he says, including the quality of underlying data from county records and the like. And the data tends to be less accurate on the high and low ends of the market, because there are fewer comparison homes, or comps.

Still, he says, it’s a pretty good starting point, “considering that we have never been in the home.”

After all, he says, “we call it a Zestimate, not a Zappraisal.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/09/01/zillow-trulia-spencer-rascoff-q-and-a/14703979/

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Listing Agent Practices, Why You Should List With Jim | 0 comments

Inventory Watch – September!

Charger Girls, 2014

We start the last third of 2014 with the Padres in third-place, and renewed optimism about the Chargers season.

Buyers haven’t lost any ground this year in average-list-pricing, which is the same or lower than at the start of 2014:

The UNDER-$800,000 Market:

Date
NSDCC Active Listings
Avg. LP/sf
DOM
Avg SF
November 25
95
$376/sf
47
1,988sf
December 2
79
$371/sf
50
2,047sf
December 9
72
$383/sf
43
1,954sf
December 16
81
$378/sf
42
1,948sf
December 23
77
$374/sf
49
1,937sf
December 30
76
$373/sf
51
1,950sf
January 6
74
$370/sf
49
1,995sf
January 13
71
$381/sf
44
1,921sf
January 20
72
$384/sf
41
1,877sf
January 27
75
$399/sf
40
1,891sf
February 3
78
$409/sf
41
1,876sf
February 10
82
$395/sf
38
1,927sf
February 17
85
$387/sf
35
1,929sf
February 24
90
$383/sf
37
2,008sf
March 3
82
$397/sf
39
1,942sf
March 10
88
$377/sf
37
2,008sf
March 17
89
$366/sf
34
2,038sf
March 24
79
$369/sf
34
2,031sf
March 31
78
$367/sf
39
2,069sf
April 7
87
$373/sf
32
2,054sf
April 14
97
$380/sf
31
2,000sf
April 21
87
$377/sf
32
2,062sf
April 28
107
$379/sf
29
2,044sf
May 5
114
$376/sf
27
2,046sf
May 12
108
$385/sf
31
2,012sf
May 19
107
$385/sf
0
0sf
May 26
105
$375/sf
34
0sf
Jun 2
102
$376/sf
36
0sf
Jun 9
102
$377/sf
37
0sf
Jun 16
104
$369/sf
35
0sf
Jun 23
111
$380/sf
34
0sf
Jun 30
119
$376/sf
36
0sf
Jul 7
122
$387/sf
36
0sf
Jul 14
127
$388/sf
34
0sf
Jul 21
135
$381/sf
36
0sf
Jul 28
144
$382/sf
37
0sf
Aug 4
148
$379/sf
39
0sf
Aug 11
135
$375/sf
42
0sf
Aug 25
135
$374/sf
43
0sf
Sep 1
126
$377/sf
46
0

Read More

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market | 1 comment

More Documentary

The documentary-film production continues, with the crew of four spending two days in town this week.  Guy Mossman is the cinematographer – he also did the documentary ‘Buck’ which won at Sundance:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_(film)

The video shows us trying out WeVideo, which is a mobile app that provides full video production on your phone.  It already has 3.5 million customers, and Jostein is committed to bringing it to the realtor community next:

https://www.wevideo.com/

Then the clip captures one of the few times Guy provided some direction – usually he is invisible, and just lets the action flow:

Posted by on Aug 30, 2014 in About Kayla, About the author, Bubbleinfo TV, Documentary Film, Listing Agent Practices, Why You Should List With Jim | 0 comments

Jim’s Take 2

film crew

My thoughts on a couple of comments left at the previous post:

From yogamom:

Is the conversation a little simpler than this?  Rising inventory as a result of fewer sales will bring prices down but we have very limited inventory.  The sales will have to slow considerably to see price appreciation level off.  The months of inventory can be used to predict the trend. Is this indictor no longer useful?

We’ve used the ‘months’ of inventory’ as an indicator, but it was never specific enough to tell us much about the trend.  Let’s advance the conversation beyond the simplistic ’hot or cold’ or ’up or down’ – which is about all you get from this metric.

The main beef I have with measuring inventory is that having a bunch of over-priced homes sitting around not selling doesn’t mean sellers are going to lower their price.  The ’Priced-to-Sit’ strategy has never been so popular!

From livinincali: 

Why insist on “a new normal”. Isn’t that just a catchy phrase for “it’s different this time”.  We’re only 2 years into this run, why does it have to be a new normal? Why can’t it just be a period of irrational behavior just like the 4-5 year run of the bubble?

I think you can make a case that it’s been irrational for the last 10-15 years around here, and probably longer.  Those who like to stick to the fundamentals are pulling their hair out in disbelief over the incomes-to-prices ratio, but here we are.

There are two things that are different this time:

1. Long-Term Dominance. The common thread of every market condition is that the majority of buyers (around here) are owner-occupants buying for the long-term. Moving up or down used to be so common and easy that buyers didn’t put much thought into owning forever – but now they do.

2. Government Support.  The trillions thrown at the “housing crisis” probably indicates the end of the free market for real estate in this country.  From now on, every time there’s a real estate hiccup, there will be calls for Uncle Sam to save the day.  Even if he doesn’t, it is probably bred into the mindset, and buyers and sellers will be acting accordingly.  Not to mention how the lack of foreclosures and lower inventory have driven buyers nuts.  If the government would have let natural market forces cure the crisis, the distressed markets would have lasted longer, and cause a slower, more reasonable appreciation.

The film crew is here, and hopefully I’ll have a few videos of our time together over the weekend!

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market | 4 comments

Jim’s Take

I’ll admit it – Tim got me going yesterday with this comment:

Socal has leveled off, and in some areas gone down. I’m a little surprised this website hasn’t commented more on the subject.

I try to present daily doses of market data, but I try to keep it neutral so you can come to your own conclusions.  I also want to demonstrate my competency so when you need a realtor, you’ll contact me first.

But because Tim brought it up, I’ll comment more on the subject today.

Buyers are firm in their commitment to be patient, do their homework, and make a smart buy that will suit them for years to come.

How does that translate on the street?  The quality-squeeze is getting tighter every day – only the best buys are selling.  The homes with inferiorities or are priced 8% or more too high are sitting.  Sellers have been very reluctant to lower their price, and some get lucky as prices continue to slowly rise.

These are the same traits of any ‘normal’ real estate market, so to me it seems to be a healthy balance.

You won’t hear me talking about how the market is up or down, hot or cold – that is to simplistic, and there is much more to it.  I encourage everyone to keep an open mind, and take in all the data and observations possible.

What’s the best measure? Home sales – are homes still selling?  Yes.  Are there still outrageously high sales happening?  Yes, I’ve seen a few head-shakers this week, which means there are still exuberant buyers in the marketplace, and they are the ones making the market.

For those looking for a downturn, there are two signs to watch for: #1, Are the number of lucky sales trickling down close to zero, and then #2, are there houses that you thought should have sold that aren’t selling.  When you see both happening, then both buyers and sellers should be cautious.

Just because there are more homes not selling only means that more sellers who are overly optimistic, and you can easily fix that with price!

I’m not buying Tim’s comment, Socal has leveled off, and in some areas gone down.  It is too vague, and hard to measure.

One house in particular to note: 1174 Hymettus in Leucadia.  There hasn’t been another house on the street sell for more than $2,000,000, and it listed on 8/15/14 for $4,150,000.  It went pending in 5 days!  I saw it, and it was spectacular – the house is 6,508sf and built in 2008 on an acre of land at the top of the hill with quality ocean views:

http://www.redfin.com/CA/Encinitas/1174-Hymettus-Ave-92024/home/4064517

It is an extreme example, but it shows why we all should keep an open mind – this post-frenzy run could keep going, and be harder to follow if sales slow down further.

Get good help!

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market | 17 comments

L.A. Rock Scene

Daytrip is a great supporter of this blog, regularly sending in articles to assist with producing content here.  But this video is one of his best contributions ever for those of us who are fans of the L.A. rock scene – thank you Daytrip!

You can watch a few minutes, and come back a few days later and the youtube picks up where you left off:

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market | 1 comment