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Category Archive: ‘North County Coastal’

Spring Fizz?

Reader Tom had this observation yesterday:

I think the market turned this week. I’m seeing more inventory where I look. I’m seeing more price reductions. I’m seeing houses come on decently priced that aren’t flying off market. I think we will look back in 2 years and see this was the peak month. Downhill from here.

We’re coming off an active spring selling season so far:

NSDCC Detached-Home Sales between March 1 – April 15

Year
# of Sales
Median SP
Avg. $/sf
2012
345
$813,500
$367/sf
2013
438
$873,250
$406/sf
2014
351
$1,030,000
$494/sf
2015
419
$1,100,000
$496/sf
2016
365
$1,142,331
$525/sf
2016
361
$1,140,000
$499/sf

We might be seeing the real estate tides going out, and the accurate pricing becoming more obvious, which happens this time of year.  The over-priced listings start stacking up once we get this far into the selling season (May starts next Monday!).

We also noted last year that the peak time to sell is right now, and that by May 15th the new pendings start to drift off.  Could the selling season be closing out earlier this year?

The rest of the selling season is going to be case-by-case.  There is a smaller beach house in Oceanside today listed in the low-$700,000s that has so much action that the bids are pushing towards $800,000!

What can sellers do?

  1.  Don’t use Active Listings as Comps – All the active listings tell you are the list prices that aren’t working.
  2.  Don’t Rely on Sold Comps as Absolute Proof of your Home’s Value – They are likely indicators, but those buyers might have been crazy, or got suckered into a hot bidding war.  Question the cash sales too; buyers are throwing around money like water.
  3.  Don’t Use Range Pricing – Give buyers a clear number to shoot at. My listing in NE Carlsbad suffered an unfortunate occurrence when the house across the street listed on a too-large range of $725,000 – $800,000.  The owner/agent got four offers over the first weekend, which did the same thing it does to all sellers – it makes them want the top of the range.  I told her she should ditch the low end, and just go with the $800,000.  She didn’t, and instead cancelled the listing three weeks later. In the meantime, I’m trying to sell the same model with view for $849,000, which would have looked reasonable if hers was $800,000 with slope instead of view – we both could have sold!
  4.  Lower Your Price – If you’ve been on the market for weeks, buyers think something is wrong with your price.  Buyers are on to it – ‘how long have you been on the market’ is the most heard question at open houses.
  5.  Keep Improving Your Home – If you don’t want to lower the price, you can keep improving your home along the way to justify the price.

Daytrip left this comment:

I think price peaks and drops will be like playing whack-a-mole this season. Take out the noise, and it’ll still be heading up. Quality properties will get good prices.

I agree, but once a house is for sale, it is subject to market forces.  Sometimes you just hit a dry spot, and adjusting is more effective than waiting!

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, North County Coastal, Spring Kick | 1 comment

NSDCC Actives/Pendings

Historically, we have considered our market to be relatively ‘healthy’ when the actives-to-pendings ratio is around 2.0 – but that thought originated when prices were about half of what they are today!

Here are the stats for the NSDCC detached-home market (La Jolla to Carlsbad):

Reading Date
Actives
Pendings
A+P
A/P
Oct 28, 2015
970
358
1,328
2.71
Feb 1, 2016
788
254
1,042
3.10
Mar 23, 2016
900
399
1,299
2.26
June 21, 2016
1,052
428
1,480
2.46
Aug 17, 2016
1,060
395
1,455
2.68
Dec 4, 2016
886
327
1,213
2.71
Apr 21, 2017
842
427
1,269
1.97

Considering that we have record-high pricing in most areas, it is phenomenal to see so many pendings – and so few actives!

Actives Median Price = $2,350,000

Pendings Median Price = $1,299,000

Only 10% of the actives are under $1,000,000, and 35% are over $3,000,000!

Here are the Actives/Pendings ratios for each area.  If you remove La Jolla and RSF, the A/P = 432/336, or 1.29 to 1!

Area
Zip Code
June
Aug
Dec
Act/Pend Today
Cardiff
92007
2.3
3.5
1.1
15/15 = 1.0
Carlsbad NW
92008
2.0
2.3
1.3
40/34 = 1.2
Carlsbad SE
92009
1.6
2.0
1.9
73/74 = 1.0
Carlsbad NE
92010
0.7
0.9
1.3
23/25 = 0.9
Carlsbad SW
92011
1.6
1.5
1.3
26/24 = 1.1
Del Mar
92014
3.2
2.5
4.9
63/19 = 3.3
Encinitas
92024
1.3
1.8
1.8
87/55 = 1.6
La Jolla
92037
4.8
4.4
4.4
172/46 = 3.7
RSF
92067
8.2
6.3
6.3
207/40 = 5.2
Solana Bch
92075
2.9
3.9
2.7
19/13 = 1.5
Carmel Vly
92130
1.5
1.8
1.8
86/77 = 1.1
All Above
All
2.5
2.7
2.7
842/427 = 2.0

WOW!

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Actives/Pendings, Jim's Take on the Market, North County Coastal | 0 comments

NSDCC Spring Kick Report

The overall environment can be sized up by comparing how many houses have sold, compared to the number of new listings hitting the market.

A surge of new listings can set buyers back on their heels. We could make that case about what happened last spring, when we had 100 more NSDCC listings hit early, and sales dropped a bit from the previous year:

NSDCC Action Between Jan 1 and April 10th

Year
# of Closed Sales
# of New Listings
CS/NL
% of Sales Over $1M
2013
765
1,481
52%
40%
2014
678
1,408
48%
51%
2015
730
1,445
51%
58%
2016
639
1,550
41%
58%
2017
648
1,368
47%
61%

The 41% from last year looks like the anomaly now though, and this year looks stronger than ever, with sales maintaining last year’s pace in spite of almost 200 fewer listings! All while the lower end has been disappearing – this year we have 61% of our sales over $1,000,000!

Posted by on Apr 13, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, North County Coastal, Sales and Price Check, Spring Kick | 0 comments

Freeze-Dried Frenzy

The market is sizzling, and it could kick up to another level if there were just more homes to sell! Here is a comparison of today’s inventory to previous years (the lower-end is selling fast!):

NSDCC Active Inventory – Second Week of April

Year
$0-$800K
$800K-$1400K
$1400-$2400K
$2400K+
Total
2014
97
233
233
349
912
2015
65
220
218
346
849
2016
37
235
260
447
979
2017
28
168
235
386
817

NSDCC Pendings Today

PEND
$0-$800K
$800K-$1.4M
$1.4M-$2.4M
$2.4M+
Total
4/10/17
38
202
126
69
427

Without more homes to sell, it’s like a freeze-dried frenzy on the lower end – very dry but it’ll keep you alive!

From cnbc.com:

Anyone eager to buy a home this spring probably has reasons to feel good. The job market is solid. Average pay is rising. And mortgage rates, even after edging up of late, are still near historic lows.

And then there’s the bad news: Just try to find a house.

The national supply of homes for sale hasn’t been this thin in nearly 20 years. And over the past year, the steepest drop in supply has occurred among homes that are typically most affordable for first-time buyers and in markets where prices have risen sharply.

In markets like San Diego, Boston and Seattle, competition for a dwindling supply has escalated along with pressure to offer more money and accept less favorable terms.

“Sellers will have the edge again this year,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist for Trulia, a real estate data provider. “Homebuyers are really going to be scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as housing choice is concerned.”

The intensity of the competition this spring has surprised even sellers like Kathleen Mulcahy, a 37-year-old product manager in Seattle.

Within a week of listing her one-bedroom, one-bath condo, Mulcahy received 21 offers – all above her asking price of $398,000. Most of the offers came with built-in triggers to automatically rise in case a rival bidder sweetened a bid. In the end, she accepted an offer of $500,000 – all cash.

“A lot more than I expected,” Mulcahy said.

Yet the changed landscape cuts both ways: Facing higher prices and competition herself, Mulcahy has decided for now to put off buying another home.

“There’s very little available, and it’s just too expensive right now, so I’m going to wait,” she said. “I’ll probably rent for two or three years.”

About 1.75 million homes were for sale nationally at the end of February, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s down 6.4 percent from a year earlier and only slightly up from January, when listings reached their lowest point since the association began tracking them in 1999. All told, the supply of homes for sale has fallen on an annual basis for the past 21 months.

Read full article here:

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/10/mission-nearly-impossible-this-spring-finding-a-home-to-buy.html

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Actives/Pendings, Frenzy, Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Buzz, Market Conditions, North County Coastal | 0 comments

NSDCC Sales, March 2017

We hear about the ‘tight inventory’ across the country, but the perception is affected by how fast homes are selling – there aren’t many houses just sitting around not selling, which gives the appearance of ‘tight’.

Let’s measure it correctly by comparing the total number of houses listed for sale between La Jolla and Carlsbad:

NSDCC Total 1st Quarter Listings

1st Qtr
Total # of New Listings
Median List Price
2013
1,288
$1,175,000
2014
1,235
$1,289,950
2015
1,276
$1,302,950
2016
1,394
$1,490,000
2017
1,223
$1,495,000

The number of NSDCC houses listed for sale hasn’t dropped significantly from previous 1Qs – the 1,223 is only 4% below the average of the last five years. Does that mean the number of sales should be comparable to previous years?

Here is the first look at last month’s NSDCC detached-home sales:

NSDCC March Sales

March
Total # of Sales
Median SP
Avg. $$/sf
Avg. DOM
# Sold <800K
2013
299
$840,000
$404/sf
49
129
2014
219
$1,040,000
$518/sf
51
62
2015
294
$1,137,500
$502/sf
46
73
2016
245
$1,145,000
$524/sf
42
57
2017
229
$1,110,000
$481/sf
42
41

Sales last month were 11% below the March average of the last five years.  Double-digit changes should get our attention!  But it is very understandable, once we look deeper.

The lower-end is where the discrepancy is – the number of houses sold under $800,000 last month was 44% below the 5-year average.

The lower-end market is disappearing.

We’re already a higher-end market, and going higher.  As a result, sales could taper off as we find an equilibrium.

It’s not like there aren’t houses for sale. They’re just expensive!

Today we have 822 on the market between La Jolla and Carlsbad – with a median LP of $2,295,000!  Only 97 of those (12%) are listed under $1,000,000!

One other note. The $524/sf average last March included this house that closed for a whopping $5,869/sf.  Take that out, and the March, 2016 average is $502/sf, the same as the previous year.

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, North County Coastal, Sales and Price Check | 0 comments

Houses Are Selling Faster

We’ve all seen houses selling fast – what is the main takeaway?  Buyers aren’t gaining any negotiating power.

http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/hottest-markets-real-estate-march-2017/

College students may be flocking to Cancun, Mexico, or Panama City Beach, FL, but a look at preliminary realtor.com® data for March makes it clear that there’s no spring break anywhere on the horizon for the real estate market.

Instead, the buying season’s annual spring jump-start came about a month earlier than usual, with homes expected to hop off the market 22 days faster than last month, or 69 days. That’s eight days faster than last year. And that’s a lot.

“Calendars might say this is the first week of spring, but we’re already right in the thick of the most frenzied spring home-buying season on record,” said Javier Vivas, manager of economic research at realtor.com.

The realtor.com economic data team analyzed our data for the country’s largest metropolitan markets to find those where buyers are clicking up a storm on our listings and where homes are speeding off the market like they’re late for a flight to the islands. These markets may seem like a tough nut to crack for buyers, but homes there are likely to be a good investment.

Maintaining its perch atop the ranking for the second month in a row is the San Francisco Bay Area city of Vallejo, followed by San Francisco itself. Mind you, when we talk about these metropolitan markets, they typically include other satellite cities—the San Francisco market encompasses Oakland and Hayward, and No. 3 Dallas includes Fort Worth and Arlington.

New to the top 20 in March were Santa Cruz, CA; Fort Wayne, IN; and Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor in Michigan. Let’s check out the rest!

They said that houses nationwide are selling eight days faster than last year.  Let’s compare our own local stats to March 2016, and include our hottest frenzy year, 2013, as well:

Days on Market – March
2013 Median
Avg
2016 Med
Avg
2017 Med
Avg
NSDCC
17
49
22
42
14
42
SD County
21
55
18
39
14
34

In spite of this month’s NSDCC median sales price being 33% higher, and mortgage rates about 5/8% higher than they were in March, 2013, houses are selling faster!

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in Average DOM, Jim's Take on the Market, North County Coastal | 0 comments

“Severe Housing Drought”

We are used to headline porn, but this one sounds startling – are we having a Severe Housing Drought?

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/23/this-is-whats-behind-the-severe-housing-drought.html

In the article, she says that nationally we have the fewest homes for sale than at any time in the last 18 years.  But are they just selling faster, which would give the appearance of low inventory?  If we have a similar number of houses being listed and they are selling faster, I wouldn’t consider that a drought, let alone a severe drought.

First, let’s compare the total supply and number of closed sales in 2017 to previous years – these are the numbers from January 1st to March 15th:

NSDCC (La Jolla to Carlsbad)

Year
# of New Listings
Median LP
# of Solds
Median SP
Median DOM
2013
1,042
$1,149,000
518
$842,950
31
2014
1,029
$1,295,000
464
$981,500
30
2015
1,043
$1,345,000
459
$1,145,000
31
2016
1,145
$1,489,900
421
$1,105,584
26
2017
987
$1,499,000
431
$1,200,000
24

This year’s number of new listings is 7% below the average of the last four years, but I wouldn’t call that a drought. If I watered my grass 7% less, it wouldn’t die. Besides, 40% of all listings don’t sell, so maybe the fewer listings just means fewer OPTs? The number of closed sales is much lower than previous years, but better than 2016.

How about the rest of the county?

San Diego County

Year
# of New Listings
Median LP
# of Solds
Median SP
Median DOM
2013
6,749
$479,000
4,426
$402,000
30
2014
7,077
$539,000
3,544
$475,000
28
2015
7,129
$569,000
3,582
$500,000
30
2016
7,146
$559,925
3,634
$532,500
24
2017
6,347
$639,500
3,696
$560,000
20

There are 10% fewer listings this year, compared to the average of the previous four years, but sales are HIGHER than any of the last three years. There isn’t a perfect relationship between listings and sales, because some of the closed sales were listed before January 1st. But the trend looks fine.

I don’t keep a record of the number of houses that are pending, but a couple of months ago we were around 300 in NSDCC (between La Jolla and Carlsbad).

Here is today’s count:

Area
# of Active Listings
# of Pendings
Median DOM
NSDCC
795
413
22
San Diego County
3,485
3,070
15

The reason we have a record-low number of homes for sale is because they are selling so fast.  Severe drought isn’t the right adjective – can we call it scorching hot?  Half of the pendings found a buyer in 15 days!

With half of the upcoming closed sales finding their buyer that fast, it means they probably paid the seller’s price, or close.  The other half are sellers who are willing to wait until they get their price!  It means the pricing trend should continue upward.

I think we’re back in the frenzy zone!

Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 in Frenzy, How Hot?, Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Buzz, Market Conditions, North County Coastal | 0 comments

NSDCC Listing Symmetry

We have enjoyed an incredibly consistent market recently!

If we see a surge in new listings, it would be welcome relief for buyers. They would have more to choose from, and temper the price expectations of sellers.

But we’re not seeing any change yet – in fact, the number of new listings has been so consistent, it is mind-boggling!

NSDCC New Listings, March 1-10:

Year
# of New Listings
Median List Price
# Marked Pending 3/1-15
2013
166
$1,175,000
40
2014
161
$1,279,000
21
2015
170
$1,244,941
31
2016
177
$1,399,000
41
2017
170
$1,398,500
38

Our record-high prices aren’t bringing out any additional sellers!

There should be more listings marked pending today, so the 38 should match or exceed last year’s 41.

Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, North County Coastal | 1 comment

NSDCC Red Hot

Let’s use the $1,400,000 price point to show how hot the lower-end market is between Carlsbad and La Jolla.  When the active and pending listings are running at a 2 to 1 clip, I consider the market to be relatively healthy – and when you look at our overall market, we are about there:

NSDCC Listings

Listing Status
Number of Listings
Median List Price
Avg DOM
Actives
807
$2,395,000
88
Pendings
391
$1,277,900
62

The Actives:Pendings ratio = 2.08, which is a good start to the selling season.

But when we separate into two sets of data, it is easy to see where the market has been blistering hot:

NSDCC Listings Priced at $1,400,000 and Above:

Listing Status
Number of Listings
Median List Price
Avg DOM
Actives
620
$2,898,000
101
Pendings
165
$2,095,000
88

The Actives:Pendings ratio is 3.76 for the high-enders, which is pretty good, relatively-speaking – it has been much higher in the past.

But let’s look at the lower-end:

NSDCC Listings Priced at $1,400,000 and Below:

Listing Status
Number of Listings
Median List Price
Avg DOM
Actives
198
$1,049,950
49
Pendings
231
$979,000
42

The Actives:Pendings ratio is 0.86 – the lower-end has 33 more pendings than actives, and it’s only March 14th! The 42 average days on market could be seen as the average time it takes for the market to catch up to your price – quick!

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Actives/Pendings, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Buzz, North County Coastal | 0 comments