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$1,000,000+ Sales, 4th Qtr.

The national fourth-quarter data is discussed in the video below, and Kelly makes a great point at the very end.

Statistically we’ve been steady, and I triple-checked these numbers!  These are the sales of houses between Carlsbad and La Jolla that closed at or above $1,000,000 in the fourth quarter:

# of NSDCC $1M+ Sales
Avg SF
Avg $/sf
Median SP

From – an excerpt:

The stronger dollar has also hurt overseas demand, as U.S. homes become expensive for those buying with other currencies.

The most expensive home deal in the fourth quarter was the $70 million sale of the 23,000-square-foot ultra-modern home in Beverly Hills, California, sold to Markus “Notch” Persson, the founder of the Minecraft video game. The house, built on spec by handbag magnate Bruce Makowsky, was listed for $85 million.

Outside of New York, the community with the largest number of $1 million-plus homes sold in the quarter was Manhattan Beach, California, with 109 sales. Laguna Beach, California, was second, with 91.

Among the biggest discounts in the quarter was the $5 million sale of a waterfront property in Newport, Rhode Island, that had once been listed for $12.9 million. A property in Santa Paula, California, listed for $6.34 million ended up selling for $3.5 million.

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Sales and Price Check | 0 comments

No Jail Time

She used to read the blog here:

A former ‘Mother of the Year’ who admitted to terrorizing a couple after they outbid her for her dream home has been ordered to keep away from them for 10 years.

Kathy J. Rowe, 53, expressed her regret as she was sentenced in San Diego, California on Friday, where she was also handed down a year of electronic surveillance and five years of probation.

Court records document how Rowe tormented Jerry Rice, 40, and Janice Ruhter, 37, for months after they moved into the home in the upscale neighborhood of Carmel Valley in 2011.

Read story and see a video of the proceeding:

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in Carmel Valley, Local Flavor | 4 comments

Why Sell Your House Now


We need more homes to sell! From the DQ:

“One month doesn’t make a trend, but December’s uptick in home sales might indicate renewed interest in housing thanks to lower mortgage rates and job growth in recent months,” said Andrew LePage, data analyst for CoreLogic DataQuick. “The gain came despite a continued decline in the share of homes sold to investors and cash buyers.

If demand continues to build, we’ll need more supply to keep up with it. One of the big questions hanging over the housing market is whether higher demand and home values will lead to a lot more people listing their homes for sale, as well as more new-home construction, which remains well below average.”

The ultra-low mortgage rates have gotten every buyer’s attention, and the sales are starting to reflect it – just like at the end of 2012.  If the December sales are the precursor, then we are at least looking at a frenzy-lite experience over the next few months:

NSDCC December Sales
# of Dec. Sales
Median SP
Median DOM
Avg $/sf

Around the NSDCC, you can sell your home for more than it has ever been worth.  But is that enough to cause people to sell?  For most people, no. We like living here, and have no place better to go.

We don’t need everyone to move.  All we need is about 10% more listings than last year, and we’ll hit full frenzy. The 2003-2004 era was the craziest frenzy of all-time, and it’s because we had more houses to sell:

Number of New Listings, First Half (Jan-Jun)

In a region of 300,000 people, all we need is about 80 more houses per month to sell.  We need a few potential sellers to change their mind about selling later, and sell now instead.

If you know you are going to be selling in a few years anyway, but these ideal conditions look too good to pass up, here’s how you can justify moving now:

1.  Move before you retire.  If you were thinking about downsizing and wanted to stay local, then either buy a condo close to home, or move to the outskirts where you can still buy a home for less than $500,000 – and commute to work for a year or two.  The low-end market is much hotter, and prices moving up quicker.

2.  Sell and rent. If you know you are going to be leaving town shortly, sell when the market is red hot, and rent a beach hut for a year or two.  Yes, rents are outrageous – but your home’s sales price will be too!

3. Retire early.  You are making more money in the stock market than you are at that stinking job you can barely tolerate.  Cash out while you can!

4.  Sell and move when you are healthy.  If you’ve been in the same home for more than 10 years, you have a lot of stuff to sort through – physically, mentally, and emotionally.  It is much easier when you have your health.

5.  Move up when rates are low.  Obviously, if you are moving up and financing the next purchase, these low rates are advantageous.

6.  Sell before rates go up.  Remember that in June 2013, that mortgage rates moved back into the mid-4% range on a rumor that the Fed was going to tighten – which they never did.  It won’t take much to pull this punch bowl.

Historically, the market has been a ten-year cycle, and the SD trough this time was April 2009.  It got dragged out longer in the 2005-2007 era by Angelo’s nutty no-doc financing, and today’s low rates might extend the party a while longer.  But it isn’t going to last forever, and mortgage rates will go up before the Fed does anything.

Once mortgage rates go up, buyers will expect lower prices, and we saw prices stall out much of last year.  But do you want to sell for less?  Not until you test the market for a year or two, and by then, buyers will be in control.

Contact me today for a free consultation!

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Frenzy, Jim's Take on the Market, North County Coastal, Sales and Price Check, Thinking of Selling?, Why You Should List With Jim | 4 comments

Open-House Theft

A Maryland woman is going to jail after she posed as a real estate agent and stole jewelry from houses, including an irreplaceable heirloom.

Sally Spaisman, 58, was sentenced Wednesday to one year in jail and five years of probation, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office says, for stealing more than $82,000 worth of jewelry from about 12 homes in the Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Potomac areas.

She pleaded guilty to the theft charges after she combed the Internet for expensive homes on the market, showed up at the open houses, then stole expensive jewelry, prosecutors said.

World News Videos | ABC World News

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in This Is America, Train Wrecks | 0 comments

NSDCC Actives and Pendings


Back when we had a normal market, it was considered ‘balanced’ or ‘healthy’ to have a 2:1 ratio of active listings to pendings.  Now that the Fed’s QE is over, and mortgages are slightly easier to get, today’s environment is probably as close to normal as we’re going to get.

How are we doing?

With jumbo rates breaking records daily, there’s no surprise that the lower-end of NSDCC is scorching hot – and would be hotter if there were more decent houses for sale:

NSDCC House List Prices
A/P Ratio
Median DOM

I think we can expect another full-out frenzy in the coming months – at least around those new lower-end listings that are within shouting range of the comps. You need an agent who can handle a bidding war – it is not a given!

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Actives/Pendings, Frenzy, Jim's Take on the Market | 0 comments