Maybe you don’t have to worry about where to move – just float around!
Retirement has often been synonymous with quietly living out your golden years in a sunny climate. But for a more adventurous breed of retirees, the end of work life opens a door to a more extreme type of sea change.
The siren’s call of cabin life is beckoning increasing numbers to traverse the globe via the ocean. And, it’s a surprisingly more attractive – and affordable – option than assisted living for some retirees.
The number of people who take cruises is at an all-time high, with 24 million passengers expected to set sail this year worldwide versus 15 million a decade ago, according to the Washington, DC-based Cruise Lines International Association. Half of these cruisers are 50 or older, and, of those, a small number are making the ocean a second home or even their permanent home.
Cruise ships might be an ideal retirement destination, although some things such as healthcare can be tricky. They offer, well, everything. From nightly entertainment to exercise equipment to Internet, most ships are equipped with anything you need to make a place home — including the travel, often a big priority for younger retirees. While no group tracks the number of people choosing this new form of retirement, a handful of cruise lines confirmed that they are seeing more near-year-round cruisers with some frequency.
For some, retirement at sea involves taking over a small stateroom on a standard cruise ship with repeated sailings and itineraries. For others, it means purchasing a “residence” (a high-end apartment at sea) on a luxury ship like The World, which is managed by Florida-based ROW Management Limited, or the yet-to-launch Southern California-based Utopia, both offering exotic destinations and expeditions.
“[These are] people who love to travel, don’t want to be responsible for any type of home maintenance, want to ditch the car, are healthy, and are comfortable living with an ever-changing ‘neighbourhood’,” says Jan Cullinane, Florida-based author of The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life.
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We had 86 new listings this week, which is close to double the norm for the first week of December. But there were a bunch of listings that expired – the net gain was only +15 after the 47 new pendings.
There were actually 9% fewer cancelled, expired, and withdrawn listings between Nov. 1st and Dec. 1st this year, compared to 2015. Hopefully it means more sellers see the benefit of being on the market when there is less competition?
Click on the ‘Read More’ link below for the NSDCC active-inventory data:
Historically we have considered our market to be relatively ‘healthy’ when the actives-to-pendings ratio is around 2.0. Here are the latest ratios for the detached-home market from La Jolla to Carlsbad:
|Oct 28, 2015|
|Feb 1, 2016|
|Mar 23, 2016|
|June 21, 2016|
|Aug 17, 2016|
|Dec 4, 2016|
For those wondering how we will get out of the gate in 2017, consider how fast the market picked up last year – by mid-March, we were already in full-tilt boogie mode, reflected in the lowest ratio of the year!
Here are today’s Actives/Pendings for each area. Except the ultra-highenders, we’re doing as well, or better, than in summertime!
There are 80,000 realtors in CRMLS – Art Carter is the CEO.
Here’s what he had to say about agent productivity:
But many of the MLS’s 14,000 or so member firms have no listings, he added. The vast majority of the firms are one-man offices.
“Typically, only about 48 percent of our members in any four quarters participate on one side of a deal,” Carter said.
“Historically since I’ve been here at CRMLS, that has been about the average.”
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For retirees looking to undergo extreme downsizing, a tiny home might be the answer. The average tiny home measures 186 square feet. That’s a fraction of the size of a traditional house. But limited space offers unique benefits, including lower utility bills and easier upkeep. Retirees are taking notice. Nearly 30% of tiny home residents are between the ages of 51 and 70, according to a 2015 survey conducted by TheTinyLife.com, a tiny home website.
Cost makes tiny homes particularly appealing to retirees living on fixed incomes. The average price to build a tiny home yourself is just $23,000, according to TheTinyLife.com. You’ll pay more to have someone build it for you — the 10 tiny homes for retirees we feature start at $45,000 — but the price tag will still be far less than what you’d pay for a full-size home. In 2015, the median sale price of a new traditional house was $296,200, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As for mortgages, 68% of tiny home owners don’t have them, while just 29% of all U.S. homeowners are living mortgage-free.
If you’re intrigued by the prospect of retiring to a tiny home, be sure to find one designed to suit the needs of retirement-age owners. Look for safety features such as slip-resistant floors, and avoid sleeping lofts with ladders. Also weigh the pros and cons of a mobile tiny home that can be moved around on a trailer versus one placed on a permanent foundation on land you own.
Mortgage rates calmed down yesterday, retreating back to 4.125%, but with all the hysteria about Trump, things sure seem unsettled.
How will we know if our local market is getting into trouble?
Watch three things:
- Inventory/sales relationship
- High-end market
- Actives/pendings ratio
Apply these to your local micro-market, because results will vary by neighborhood. I started this blog in September, 2005, when it was becoming obvious on the street that change was afoot.
We had a great lesson in 2006 – the inventory took off, and sales plunged:
La Jolla-to-Carlsbad, Jan – Nov
The 2016 inventory has increased, but it’s more in line with the average now – which, excluding 2006, is 4,869 per year. Sales aren’t plunging either, so we’re in good shape, at least for now.
How about the high-end market?
Sales are down slightly in La Jolla this year, compared to 2015 (320 vs. 336), but the Ranch is hopping! There have been 13% more sales in the 92067 this year, compared to 2015, and sales in August-through-November are up 46% year-over-year!
I’ll come back to the Actives/Pendings ratio, but at least we have guideposts that look relatively health today!
How long can the hot market continue? It’s up to the sellers. If they are willing to sell for what the market will bear, we’ll keep rolling because there are lots of people who want to buy a house – it’s just a matter of price.
If the auction format gets more popular, it would solve everything.
The price surge has locked many first time buyers out of the market. But it has been a boon to owners, many of whom regained equity after being underwater on their mortgages following the Great Recession crash.
The gains have been seen across Southern California, though inland areas remain further behind. In October, the median price — the point where half of homes sold for more and half for less — rose in all six counties compared to a year earlier, CoreLogic said.
In Los Angeles County, the median jumped 7.4% to $525,000; in Orange, 9% to $655,000; in Ventura, 7% to $535,000; in San Bernardino, 9.6% to $285,000; in Riverside, 8.1% to $335,000; and in San Diego,11.1% to $507,500.
The sustained price gains have real estate agents, buyers and sellers wondering how long the hot market can continue.
Most economists say price increases should be smaller next year as families struggle to make larger offers on homes. Wage growth simply isn’t keeping up with the rising cost of housing, they say.
Read full article here:
They speak about the future as if they have the crystal ball, and can state what will happen next year. Of course, things only get better:
Following a dip in home sales in 2016, California’s housing market will post a nominal increase in 2017, as supply shortages and affordability constraints hamper market activity, according to the “2017 California Housing Market Forecast,” released today by the C.A.R.
The C.A.R. forecast sees a modest increase in existing home sales of 1.4 percent next year to reach 413,000 units, up slightly from the projected 2016 sales figure of 407,300 homes sold. Sales in 2016 also will be virtually flat at 407,300 existing, single-family home sales, compared with the 408,800 pace of homes sold in 2015.
“Next year, California’s housing market will be driven by tight housing supplies and the lowest housing affordability in six years,” said C.A.R. President Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli. “The market will experience regional differences, with more affordable areas, such as the Inland Empire and Central Valley, outperforming the urban coastal centers, where high home prices and a limited availability of homes on the market will hamper sales. As a result, the Southern California and Central Valley regions will see moderate sales increases, while the San Francisco Bay Area will experience a decline as home buyers migrate to peripheral cities with more affordable options.”
C.A.R.’s forecast projects growth in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product of 2.2 percent in 2017, after a projected gain of 1.5 percent in 2016. With California’s nonfarm job growth at 1.6 percent, down from a projected 2.3 percent in 2016, the state’s unemployment rate will reach 5.3 percent in 2017, compared with 5.5 percent in 2016 and 6.2 percent in 2015.
The average for 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rates will rise only slightly to 4.0 percent in 2017, up from 3.6 percent in 2016, but will still remain at historically low levels.
The California median home price is forecast to increase 4.3 percent to $525,600 in 2017, following a projected 6.2 percent increase in 2016 to $503,900, representing the slowest rate of price appreciation in six years.
“With the California economy continuing to outperform the nation, the demand for housing will remain robust even with supply and affordability constraints still very much in evidence. The net result will be California’s housing market posting a modest increase in 2017,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “The underlying fundamentals continue to support overall home sales growth, but headwinds, such as global economic uncertainty and deteriorating housing affordability, will temper stronger sales activity.”
Their guesses a year ago weren’t that close: