San Diego Case-Shiller Index, March

The local Case-Shiller Index for March had the biggest monthly increase in 2+ years, and helps to show why we are getting back to a healthy market quickly. March is usually a strong month though:

San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:

Observation Month
SD CSI
M-o-M chg
Y-o-Y chg
January ’18
248.16
+0.8%
+7.3%
Feb
250.91
+1.1%
+7.5%
Mar
253.41
+1.0%
+7.6%
April
255.63
+0.9%
+7.7%
May
257.07
+0.6%
+7.3%
Jun
258.44
+0.6%
+6.9%
Jul
258.49
0.0%
+6.2%
Aug
257.32
-0.5%
+4.7%
Sept
256.13
-0.4%
+3.9%
Oct
255.26
-0.1%
+3.7%
Nov
253.37
-0.6%
+3.3%
Dec
251.68
-0.7%
+2.3%
January ’19
251.30
-0.2%
+1.3%
Feb
253.69
+0.9%
+1.1%
Mar
256.40
+1.1%
+1.2%
Apr
257.63
+0.5%
+0.8%
May
260.08
+1.0%
+1.1%
June
261.90
+0.7%
+1.3%
July
263.66
+0.7%
+2.0%
Aug
263.23
-0.2%
+2.3%
Sep
263.26
0%
+2.8%
Oct
262.56
-0.2%
+2.7%
Nov
263.18
+0.2%
+3.9%
Dec
263.51
+0.1%
+4.7%
Jan ’20
264.04
+0.2%
+5.1%
Feb
265.34
+0.5%
+4.6%
Mar
269.63
+1.6%
+5.2%

The strength in March prices came even as mortgage rates bumped sharply higher during the month. That should have given homebuyers less purchasing power. Rates began falling precipitously after that and hit a new record low late this month.

“As states are cautiously reopening business activity and people are looking at summer plans in a new light, the reality of 25 million unemployed Americans is casting looming clouds over the horizon,” said George Ratiu, senior economist at realtor.com.” For homebuyers, low availability coupled with still-rising prices are overshadowing the benefit of historically low mortgage rates.”

The March numbers should be taken with a grain of salt since they are 2 months old and are calculated using a three-month running average.

“Housing prices have not yet registered any adverse effects from the governmental suppression of economic activity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lazzara said. “As much of the U.S. economy remained shuttered in April, next month’s data may show a more noticeable impact.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/26/coronavirus-home-prices-gained-strength-in-march-sp-case-shiller-says.html

Inventory Watch – Spring Start Over

We are back to having a similar number of California showings as we had in the first week of March!

It looks like we will jam the usual six-month-long selling season into just four – May through August – but only if there is enough to sell. The showings leveled off recently, and it might be because buyers have seen everything there is to see. But the total number of new actives did surge higher, but that might only mean you have 1-2 more to look at:

The 121 new listings this week is the most since we had 122 on March 11, 2019 –  yet we’re still 200+ listings behind where we were a year ago. The new pendings had a big week too with an increase of 57% over last week’s count:

Mortgage rates hit their all-time low this week, so it’s all blue sky ahead!

Weekly NSDCC New Listings and New Pendings

Week
New Listings
New Pendings
Total Pendings
Mar 16
83
55
329
Mar 23
59
31
289
Mar 30
63
31
251
Apr 6
57
21
219
Apr 13
48
17
194
Apr 20
63
29
192
Apr 27
79
40
205
May 4
86
40
208
May 11
91
48
226
May 18
95
44
224
May 25
121
69
266

Statistically, we are cranking!

(more…)

For the Fallen

Memorial Day – a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.

Join the local livestream tribute beginning at 9:00am Monday of four events at San Diego’s most iconic locations including Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, Mt. Soledad National Memorial, Miramar National Cemetery, and the USS Midway Museum:

https://www.midway.org/memorialdaylive/

ADU State and Local Law

We’ve been long-time supporters of the Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans’ liberties when threatened by government overreach and abuse. My brother worked there after he and the PLF Executive Vice President, John Groen went to school at Claremont Men’s College (the three of us played on the rugby team for two seasons!).  Our good friend Larry Salzman is their director of litigation, and I appreciate him passing along the latest links to the ADU laws below.

AB68 is the state law that overrides local building and zoning codes, requiring ADUs to be permitted throughout the state subject to various conditions about health, safety, and nuisance.  It allows for one attached, and one detached ADU be added to every SFR property. Here is the law:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB68 

The was augmented last year by AB 670, which prohibits homeowner’s associations from unreasonably withholding their permission to allow their members to develop ADUs in HOA-run communities.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB670 

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PLF just petitioned this case to the California Supreme Court, asking it to decide whether all power to restrict ADUs is preempted by state law or whether local governments retain some discretion to deny the permit applications that meet state law standards.

The city of San Marino adopted building code restrictions that forbid homeowner Cordelia Donnelly from adding an ADU over her garage. Because state law dealing with ADUs fully preempts local restrictions, Cordelia has asked the California Supreme Court to recognize her right to create more housing. Story here:

https://pacificlegal.org/case/donnelly-v-city-of-san-marino/

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Larry has also found a ADU builder he likes who has just opened a local office:

https://www.gjgardner.com/orange-county-home-builders/granny-flats.aspx

ADU As Investment Property

A two-year-old, Culver City, California-based startup called United Dwelling aims to tackle the affordable housing problem using data, creativity, and underutilized garages and backyards.

United Dwelling plans to eventually build thousands of Accessory Dwelling Units, which are basically 369-square-foot studio homes. The company said its units benefit homeowners who are looking for ways to supplement their income as well as tenants looking for low-cost housing options.

United Dwelling uses data to identify potential lots that would be suitable for its units. It targets mostly low-and middle-income neighborhoods, with some exceptions for workforce housing. The company at first was going to just remodel garages but discovered quickly it’s much easier to tear down old ones and start fresh. So that’s what it does. It replaces those garages with small, affordable and zero net carbon homes in low-density neighborhoods with no out-of-pocket costs to property owners.

It then sets a rental price for the newly built unit and manages the property on the homeowner’s behalf, keeping a share of the rental income. Upon completion of construction, United Dwelling gives the homeowner the option to buy the unit back from the company for just under $88,000. To keep the costs of construction down, United Dwelling aims to build at least five units within a two-mile radius in the same time frame. Its initial focus is on the Los Angeles region with plans to eventually expand to the Bay Area and other locations once its solidifies its process, according to Dietz.

Specifically, the company plans to build over 150 of its detached studio homes in Southern California in 2020 and over 1,500 in 2021 (assuming construction can continue moving forward as an essential function per Los Angeles COVID-19 policy).

“Affordable housing is one of the most daunting challenges facing California and other parts of the county that is both entirely man-made and completely solvable,” Dietz said. “Here, we can do something that’s incredibly relevant. The opportunity is truly immense. Affordable housing is pretty easy. All you need is inexpensive land and construction, and capital.”

Link to Article

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