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Category Archive: ‘Market Conditions’

Zillow Summit

The Z team was in town today.

Here is a video of their presentation of the SD stats, plus Doug Harwood and myself discussing the future. My comments were based on this piece:

Donna thought my words were a little strong, but they need to be to emphasize the point.  Zillow intends to change the whole game – they have from the beginning, and they demonstrate the killer instinct regularly.  But they are so nice about it that they are sneaking up on most agents who don’t see it coming.

The lower-producing agents will be the first casualties, and they will just retire and watch from the sidelines as Zillow starts advertising that they have the best agents.  They don’t mind spending $100 million per year on those ads, and no other real estate company comes close.

There are 11,000 agents in SD County, and around 3,000 sales per month.  Agents who sell 2-4 houses per year won’t be able to keep up with superior agents teams that will be outfitted by Zillow to dominate the market.

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Doug Harwood, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, The Future | 1 comment

Increasing Inventory in NSDCC

Historically, when prices start reaching new peaks, we see more homes come to market.  This time around though, sellers have been reluctant for a variety of reasons, and inventory has been tight.

These are the total number of detached-home listings that hit the MLS between June 1 and September 30th.

NSDCC Summer Inventory (June 1 – Sept 30)

# of Listings
Median LP
Average LP

It’s not a big increase (7% higher than last year), but could it be a precursor to what we might see next spring?

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, North County Coastal | 2 comments

Avoiding the Inspector Blues

I mentioned here that it would be a prudent business practice to provide buyers with a home inspection prior to making an offer:

Sellers and listing agents don’t want to mess around with repair requests, and it says right in the contract that the house is sold ‘as-is’.  Yet the common practice today is for the buyers to conduct their own home inspection AFTER they have an accepted offer, which means the unknown facts about the house are rarely priced into the deal – and, as a result, buyers want some giveback.  They might endure some inequity in a frenzy, but as the market balances out, the tendency will be to cancel the deal if they aren’t happy.

But here’s another reason for providing a home inspection – to avoid having the buyers hiring an inspector who could put your deal in jeopardy.  You can’t stop them from doing their own second inspection, but at least you’ll have another opinion available if they hire one of these.

The three inspectors everyone wants to avoid:

  1. The bumbling, incompetent inspector who raises more concern.
  2. The CYA inspector, who creates more alarm by insisting that a licensed contractor needs to be consulted for an adequate opinion of the stupid stuff.
  3. The inspector who tells you in person that it’s a great house, and then sends a report loaded with surprises.

The seller-provided inspection is a counter-balance for all three categories!




Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Market Conditions, Realtor Training, Why You Should List With Jim | 0 comments

Seminar Results

laker lion

I was in Las Vegas doing what I could to help Laker great Lamar Odom, and happened to swing by the Z-Group event for their premier agents.

The big wigs rolled out a couple of new features, Stan did his presentation, and then they had breakout sessions that included speaker panels with agents who are devoted customers.

No one could blame them for inviting their most successful agents on stage – it’s what you would expect.  But the numbers they discussed were staggering.

Robert Slack was just a single agent for a couple of decades.

In 2014, he had four agents working for him.  Now he employs 34 agents – and expects that number to be up to 40 agents by the end of 2015.

Zillow sells ‘impressions’ on a listing page, based on zip codes – he has bought exposure in 92 zip codes in Florida!

His team closed 42 sales last month. He wants to close 1,000 sales in 2016!

Robert works in central Florida, and serves Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Sarasota and Venice. He sells houses priced mostly from $100,000 to $400,000 – which is a very affordable price range.  There was another agent from Missouri who had similar success – but his sales were at the same price point.

This team approach built around Zillow buyer leads can be very effective.  The team leaders can build the machine and check out too – the Missouri guy said he spent all summer at the beach.

Could realtors in higher-end areas use Zillow advertising to achieve dominance? It’s so competitive already that it would take a major investment for years, but it is possible.  Such an effort would really clear out the individual buyer agents.

Posted by on Oct 18, 2015 in Market Conditions, Realtor, Realtor Training, Realtors Talking Shop, Seminars, Speaker Panel, Special Events, The Future | 0 comments

Today’s Home Buyers

A great summary of today’s home buyers provided by John Burns.  Interesting to note that 65% of buyers are childless, which must mean that many couples are buying their home before having kids?

An excerpt:

Let me summarize for you some of the key findings from an NAR report on home buyer and seller generational trends. So often, useful facts get lost in big reports.

Household Compositions

  • 13% multigenerational living. 13% of buyers have multiple generations over the age of 18, with 21% of those buyers headed by someone aged in their 50s. This ties in nicely with our last Consumer Insights survey of more than 20K home shoppers, where 50% of those in their 50s said they planned on living multigenerationally, either with a parent or a child. 37% of multigenerational buyers had an adult child, while 21% of buyers had an aging parent.
  • 73% couples. Married people buy 65% of all homes sold, with unmarried couples buying 8%.
  • 16% single women double the men. Single women are almost twice as likely to buy as single men, purchasing 16% of all homes sold compared to 9% of all homes for single men. After the age of 50, purchases by single females rise even more.
  • 65% childless. Homes designed for adults rather than families make more sense, as 65% of all home buyers do not have children. Resale homes were primarily designed with families in mind.
  • 11% foreign born. Consistent with our demographic findings that 23% of those born in the 1970s were born abroad and that foreign born buyers are less prone to purchase, foreign purchases are heavily skewed to those born in the 1970s. 17% of buyers aged 35–49 are foreign born—nearly double the percentage of any other age cohort.

Read full article here:

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions | 0 comments

Boomer Liquidation Sale On Hold

The baby boomer liquidation sale has failed to materialize….so far.  Boomers are holding onto their old homes longer, and living the good life instead:


Baby boomers are not leaving the homes they own to settle into apartments, as housing economists had predicted.

A new edition of Fannie Mae Housing Insights says that boomers are not responsible for a recent surge in the apartment market. But when they do finally downsize, the very size of the generation will be enough to “move markets.”

Predictions were that boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1965 (some sources say 1964), would begin downsizing naturally as they became older and more frail. “The research showed that the likelihood of Baby Boomers occupying single-family homes has changed little in recent years, despite the factor that boomers are experiencing major life changes that might be expected to cause a downshift in their housing consumption,” the Fannie Mae article said.

Instead, through 2013, boomers had not significantly reduced the rate at which they live in single-family, detached houses, the agency said. And although the number of rooms in those houses has decreased in recent years, “boomer home size has increased since then, suggesting the boomers are not trading down to smaller single-family homes, either.”

The article added that the “number of boomer apartment dwellers has not budged in recent years, whereas the number of millennials in multifamily rental units has grown by nearly half a million annually.”

That’s a significant finding with big implications for the housing market, because “boomers have an enormous residential footprint.” Some 40 percent of the nation’s homes are occupied by boomers, who have “half of the nation’s housing wealth,” Fannie Mae said.

As baby boomers move into their retirement years, they’re having a major impact in other ways, too.

“After working most of their lives, Baby Boomers want it all in retirement: travel, dining out, owning two cars and multiple homes. And they want to do this off of income generated by their investments,” said a recent article in Wall Street Daily. “Yet you’d be amazed how many people go to see an advisor with far too little in savings or investments to enjoy that sort of retirement. Even those people who have enough assets often have them allocated extremely poorly.”

Some boomers have accumulated no savings for retirement, the article said.

Read full article here:


Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Boomer Liquidations, Boomers, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, Thinking of Buying?, Thinking of Selling? | 11 comments

Chinese Buying to Accelerate?


Excerpted from an article in BI:

Chang’s client is one of the group of wealthy Chinese caught in between a rock and a hard place: Leave their assets in China to potentially weather additional market volatility and yuan devaluations — or put it in real estate that is now more expensive than just a few weeks earlier.

“Lots of my clients have been hit heavily by the equity market,” Chang, who was once a vice president at HSBC’s private bank, told Business Insider through a series of interviews. “But that only makes them more determined to diversify out of China.”

The chaos of the past few weeks is likely to lead to an acceleration in the rate of real-estate purchases by wealthy Chinese buyers in the US and elsewhere.

Chinese individuals are also being actively encouraged to buy abroad by the government.

Thus far, Chinese individuals have been allowed to convert $50,000 into other currencies annually — though there are ways to skirt the regulation.

That is about to change, with the Chinese government readying the launch of the Qualified Domestic Individual Investor program.

The QDII2 is an overseas-investment scheme that would allow Chinese citizens to invest overseas directly. Those with at least $160,000 in financial assets qualify.

The program is likely to launch this year and will bolster overseas real-estate purchases on the part of the Chinese.

“With QDII2 in mind, within five years we might look back and think of the current levels of Chinese cross-border investment as quaint,” Andrew Taylor, co-CEO of, a website that helps Chinese to buy properties abroad.

Read full article here:


Posted by on Aug 30, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Buzz, Market Conditions, Real Estate Investing | 0 comments