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$880,000,000 in Slush Funds


We’ve seen how bankers have been able to finagle fines instead of jail time for the harm done during the mortgage crisis.  Where did that money go?

Thanks to Art for sending:

Washington, D.C. — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Va.) bipartisan “Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016” (H.R. 5063) will receive a vote by the full House of Representatives next week.

Introduced by Chairman Goodlatte, this bill bars the Department of Justice (DOJ), and all other government agencies, from requiring defendants to donate money to outside groups as part of their settlement agreements with the federal government.

Need for this legislation arose after a 20-month House Judiciary Committee investigation found that DOJ had engaged in a “pattern or practice” of systematically subverting Congress’s Spending Power by using settlements from financial institutions to funnel money to left-wing activist groups. This bill would end this practice and restore accountability to the appropriations process.

Read the full story here:


Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Mortgage News | 2 comments

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, July


The July, 2016 reading of the San Diego Case-Shiller Index was elevated compared to June – just like last year!  The increase this year was somewhat throttled though, and based on how it went in 2015, the San Diego CSI should be fairly quiet over the next six months.

Will sellers be happy to get what the last guy got?

Here are the recent San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:

M-o-M chg
Y-o-Y chg
January ’15
January ’16

The highest reading of the San Diego NSA CSI was 250.34 in November, 2005.

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Same-House Sales | 0 comments

Inventory Watch

2016-09-13 13.39.48

As September wraps up, both buyers and sellers are wondering if they should pack it in for 2016. A logical question would be, “How does today’s market compare to the ‘selling season’ this year”?

During the 13 weeks of March, April, and May, we averaged 72 new pendings per week. For July, August, and September, we averaged 64 new pendings per week – including 68 this week and 69 last week!

Not much difference!

And that’s in spite of the fact that we hit the highest average list-price-per-sf of the year in all categories this week!

Click on the ‘Read More’ link below for the NSDCC active-inventory data:

Read More

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Inventory, Jim's Take on the Market, Spring Kick | 3 comments

Soft Market? How Soft?

Our local market has been feeling ‘soft’ lately, and I mentioned earlier that it might be good for a 5% to 10% discount off list price….or off the last comps?

It is more a seasonal thing really.  The sellers keep pushing the list prices higher all year, and buyers get exhausted by the end of summer.

You can see below how the gap between the average list prices and sales prices widen towards the off season – the Septembers are marked in red:

Discount percentage graph

The motivated sellers will adjust as needed, and we’ll all be fine.

It looks like they already are, generally speaking:


The reason you don’t see many sales close at big discounts is because you have to offer 15% below list to have a shot at buying at 10% below. The vast majority of sellers will laugh you out of the house with offers at 15% off. It’s too easy for them to think it will be better in springtime, and wait.

It’s why you see 5% to 7% discounts off list in the first graph – that is all the sellers will tolerate because they’re convinced that their list price is ‘right’.

While it might feel ‘soft’ because houses aren’t selling like they used to, don’t worry. Sellers who need to sell will re-calibrate over the next 30 days, and set the tone for next spring.

The big question is – “will buyers pay more in spring?’ If yes, it will be only for the vastly superior homes. Anything that is inferior in any way – especially the fixers – will need to be sharp on price to sell.  It’s doubtful that they will get any more than they could have gotten this year, and it may take last year’s prices to move some of them.


Posted by on Sep 24, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, North County Coastal | 1 comment

Miramar Air Show

Miramar Air Show is this weekend!  Times are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Gates open at 8 a.m. daily.

Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar Road, Miramar. Admission, parking and blanket seating are free. Blanket seating is an open paved area where attendees can stand or sit on their own blankets or lawn chairs. Preferred seating areas are available with paid admission. Check the website for details.(888) 695-0888 or

“Celebrating 100 years of the Marine Corps Reserve” is the theme of this year’s Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show, held at the home of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. The largest military show in the nation, the three-day air show takes place Friday through Sunday. “The Reserves are comprised of more than 109,000 men and women who play a vital role in maintaining the Corps’ combat readiness and are critical to the Marine Corps’ ability to provide a balanced and prepared force,” said Col. Jason G. Woodworth, commanding officer of MCAS Miramar. If you’re planning on attending the show, here are some highlights.

Here’s how the Blue Angels looked two weeks ago:

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 in Military | 0 comments