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Category Archive: ‘Spring Kick’

Spring Fever


The real estate market around Orange County is similar to ours in San Diego, and they are feeling the seasonal surge like we are currently.  Mortgage rates under 4% are certainly contributing to the fever – live it up while you can!

An excerpt:

January buying was slow, too. Then all of a sudden – with no major change in pricing or mortgage rates or the broader economy – shoppers stopped shopping and started making offers.

“I’d like to know what buyers are thinking. Why did they start pulling the trigger now?” Thomas says. “It’s like we’ve gone from 5 miles per hour to 65 in a very short distance.”

Thus, the big question for Orange County’s housing market has gone from “When will it wake up?” to “How long can this surge last?”

Will February prove to be just a short-lived, unexpected rush of buyers wanting to start the year in a new home? Did folks get overly anxious about the possibility of potentially higher home prices or costlier mortgages later this year?

Or is this the market breakout where improved housing fundamentals, most notably a healthy job market, nudged buyers to act? Is there a growing flock that’s tired of renting or having roommates – parents or otherwise – and have joined the traditional hunt for home ownership?

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, Spring Kick | 7 comments

NSDCC New Listings YTD

It used to make sense that the higher prices went, the more people would sell.

But now here we are at all-time high prices, and not many are interested.  It must be due to the lack of other options – not selling looks better than selling.

New Detached-Home Listings Between Jan 1 – Feb 15

# of New Listings
Median List Price

One place where there has been some nice action is the $700,000 – $900,000 range along the I-15 corridor.  There has been a steady stream of new product coming to market, and momentum is building as most sell within the first week (catching many sellers and agents by surprise).

When there are only a smattering of new listings like we’re having along the coast, buyers struggle with whether the pricing is real.  A few will sell here and there, but more listings would provide more comfort to buyers, one way or another.  If they see them selling, then they’d be more likely to jump in!

Posted by on Feb 21, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Buzz, North County Coastal, Spring Kick | 6 comments

Soccer Fever?

I mentioned on video that my phone has been blowing up the last couple of weeks, and other agents are reporting the same thing.  The graduation season is over, and July is only five days away!

Are buyers fired up because of USA Soccer?

soccer man

Part of the action may be due to the lack of new listings – there still hasn’t been any flood of sellers:

NSDCC Detached-Home New Listings in June

2010 = 533

2011 = 503

2012 = 436

2013 = 478

2014 = 388 (so far)

The next 30 days should be lively – buyers are making their last push to buy/clean/move and get settled before school starts up again.  If you are thinking of selling, it’s a great time to hit the market – contact me today!


Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, Spring Kick | 1 comment

Selling-Season Kickoff

The Spring Selling Season around here traditionally gets started right after the Super Bowl – let’s talk about it!

On Monday, February 3rd at 8:00pm we will be joined here by Rich Toscano and other local experts to discuss the real estate market!

Using Google Hangouts On Air here, you will be able to watch and listen to the panel discussion right here on the blog.  We will be taking your questions too – get in early by leaving them in the comment section below.

See you Monday!

Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 in Seminars, Speaker Panel, Spring Kick | 6 comments

More Move-Ups Wanted

I removed the ‘Foreclosure’ and ‘Short Sale’ buttons at the top of this website.

The distressed market around NSDCC appears to be over, and while there will be some stragglers, there won’t be any distressed sellers unless, and until, the banks start up the foreclosure machine again.

Literally, there has been zero NSDCC detached homes listed as short sales this year, and only one bank-owned house (which we saw).

move up buyersWith distressed properties off the list, we are back to the Big Three list of serious sellers; death, divorce, and job transfer.  These groups are a constant source of homes coming to market, and we know they aren’t just testing the waters.

Are there other serious sellers in play?

Others have said that the move-up market should be lively, and I poo-poo’d the idea just due to the difficulty of selling one to buy another.

But should the move-up-or-downers be considered as the new #4 on the list of motivated sellers?  Here are four groups with reasons:

Committed to Long-Term – The primary driving force in today’s market seems to be families looking for a house raise a growing family, and stay forever.  Even though I recommend that you should move every 6-12 months, nobody is taking me up on it any more! :)

Squeeze to Improve Quality – Anyone who finds themselves in an inferior situation – location, schools, etc. – will endure the inconveniences in order to upgrade.  Anyone motivated enough will find a way – and all you need is money.

Inheritance – Those who receive a windfall amount of money will consider upgrading their lifesytle by purchasing a new residence.  I’m convinced this has to be a segment of the demand, based on considerably-higher prices paid.

Combining Generations – With the folks getting older, it’s natural for them to consider sharing a residence with the kids to get extra support.

These four groups of potential buyers who need to sell theirs to buy the next house have the necessary motivation to endure the financing hurdles.  They would add to both supply and demand, and help build some sales momentum (which could be off to a sticky start here in 2014).

If you are thinking of moving up or down, and want some advice on how to handle the particulars, get a hold of me!

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Jim's Take on the Market, Sellers Waiting For Comeback, Spring Kick, Thinking of Selling?, Why You Should List With Jim | 0 comments

Bring Your Track Shoes

fast start aheadOur Christmas-dinner conversation last night included a few thoughts about real estate, and reflecting back on the frenzy conditions in spring.

The Frenzy of 2013 was slowed somewhat by higher rates & prices.  But it doesn’t mean it won’t kick up again – because it could.

Buyers have a lot of woulda, coulda, shouldas about not getting in when rates and prices were lower, but enough time has passed.  All they can do now is look forward and decide if each listing is worth buying at today’s price and rate, or keep waiting.

How the early market develops will depend on how reasonably the new listings are priced.  If they are within reason, they might get gobbled up and some sales momentum could start building again.

It looks like sellers have been fairly reasonable lately.

Here are the NSDCC detached-homes listed between December 1-20, and sales closed in the same period:

#New Listings
LP Avg $/sf
SP Avg $/sf

Despite the 29% increase in the average sold pricing, there were more closed than listed, which feels like a seller’s market.

Consider that the number of new listings were fewer than last year, and they were priced within 7% of last year’s group (the ones that helped ignite the frenzy), and it looks like the stage is set for a fast start to 2014.

Posted by on Dec 26, 2013 in Frenzy, North County Coastal, Sales and Price Check, Spring Kick | 1 comment

Spring Flood Watch

spring surgeFrom

The number of Americans who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth fell at the fastest pace on record in the third quarter as prices rose, a sign supply shortages may ease as more owners are able to sell.

The percentage of homes with mortgages that had negative equity dropped to 21 percent from 23.8 percent in the second quarter, according to a report today from Seattle-based Zillow Inc. The share of owners with at least 20 percent equity climbed to 60.8 percent from 58.1 percent, making it easier for them to list properties and buy a new place.

“Home sales will pick up very nicely when people gain the equity they need to sell their house and have a down payment for the next one,” said Neal Soss, chief economist at Credit Suisse Group AG in New York. “There’s a magnifying effect on sales — people are able to list their home and sell it, and odds are they’re going to go on and buy another one.”

A shortage of inventory has forced homebuyers to compete, driving up prices and leaving some shoppers out of the market, said Thomas Lawler, a former Fannie Mae economist who now is a housing consultant. The number of homes for sale reached a low of 1.8 million in early 2013, the fewest in more than a decade, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

“The pent-up demand from people who now have enough equity to sell their homes will help next year,” said Lawler, president of Lawler Economic & Housing Consulting LLC in Leesburg, Virginia. “We’ll see the effect during the spring selling season. Not a lot of people put their homes on the market during the holidays.”

Read full article here:

Posted by on Nov 21, 2013 in Forecasts, Spring Kick | 5 comments

Why Slowdown Is Good

We keep hearing that inventory is growing, but what does that mean?

In the traditional way that the media reports it, a growing inventory means that there are more active listings of homes for sale.  The assumption is made that this is ‘good’ and ‘getting back to normal’.

But if they would look deeper, they would realize that a growing inventory of active listings means homes aren’t selling.  In almost every case, it’s because they are over-priced.

If the market hits stall speed, where buyers aren’t willing to pay whatever it takes just to buy something, then a slowdown is in order.

Here is my hypothesis why a ‘slowdown’ for the rest of 2013 would be great, and set the stage for an incredible Spring, 2014.

1.  Slowdown means price discovery.

For the last 12 months, the sky has been the limit for sellers, who put any price on their home and buyers paid that or more – often waiving the appraisal contingency.

With over-priced homes not selling, we’ll have additional pricing parameters.

2.  Slowdown means more competition between sellers.

In areas where a few motivated sellers might be doing the stare-down, an old fashioned price war could break out.

With prices having gone up 20% to 25% in the last year, sellers who need to sell might take a little less to get it done, and still call it a win.

3.  Slowdown re-engages the buyers.

The buyers who have been turned off by the frenzy will enjoy seeing more inventory lying around – and keep the demand healthy.

4.  Slowdown gets the attention of agents.

Realtors have gotten away with sloppy pricing this year, but hopefully that will change once their listings start sitting around.


While a 4Q13 slowdown might be just the breather the market needs, there are other factors that could, and should, lead to a robust 2014 buying season:

  • More formerly-underwater sellers realize they can get out.
  • More baby-boomers are getting old and need help/money.
  • More previously-foreclosed and short sellers will be eligible for financing.
  • Fannie/Freddie and FHA will still be around.
  • Rates should be higher which makes buyers antsy.
  • Anti-Buy-and-Bail rule is easier to overcome for move-up buyers.

The high-flying price increases over the last 12 months have been great for headlines, but we need more sales to sustain momentum.  The market conditions should be ideal over the next few months to keep the train rolling!

What do you think?

Posted by on Sep 26, 2013 in Frenzy, Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, North County Coastal, Spring Kick | 2 comments