San Diego Case-Shiller Index, Nov

Comparing to the dreadful end of 2018 doesn’t tell us much, but at least we had a positive move between October and November – we’re almost back to where we were in September!

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%
February
250.91
+1.1%
+7.5%
March
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%

There were times that our index was going up 1% per month, and now it’s around +1% per quarter which is a good pace for buyers – it’s not going up fast enough for them to feel they need to grab something quickly.

Kobe

I’ve been a big Laker fan since I was a little kid living in Covina.  Donna’s sister worked for Sprite when they were sponsoring Kobe early on, and she gave me a special #8 jersey signed by him as a gift.  It’s always been a reminder of Kobe’s work ethic, which has been very inspiring over the years.

This quote came from Kobe when he was on stage accepting the ‘Icon Award’ at the ESPYS. He was addressing fellow athletes:

“We’re not on this stage just because of talent or ability,” Bryant said.

“We’re up here because of 4 a.m. We’re up here because of two-a-days or five-a-days.

We’re up here because we had a dream and let nothing stand in our way. If anything tried to bring us down, we used it to make us stronger.”

One example of his commitment:

Thank you Kobe for the inspiration!

Mission Hills Masterpiece

On Friday we closed escrow on another sale of a Lloyd Ruocco classic – two in a row!  This one was 20 years older (1947) and in Mission Hills with a panoramic view of the city, ocean and bay.

MISSION HILLS MODERN! Architect Lloyd Ruocco’s Keller Residence is one of the first post-War modern homes in all of San Diego! Enjoy views of Downtown & Point Loma to the Coronado Islands and beyond. Contemporary finishes blend seamlessly with original, vintage design as the interior blurs with the exterior landscape. Retreat to this culdesac location and enjoy an incomparable setting of privacy amidst the urban landscape. Historically designated, incredible Mills Act tax savings conveys!

It’s rare to get a 15-page history on a house – this goes back to the beginning:

History of 1433 Puterbaugh

James Don Keller was the district attorney of San Diego between 1946-1971 (and probably knew my grandfather who was district attorney of Alameda County in 1947-1969).

The house on Puterbaugh was the second house designed by Ruocco for the Kellers – the first was in National City, and the third was 9405 La Jolla Farms Rd.

NSDCC Annual Inventory & Sales

With the low inventory and no foreclosures, buyers have given up on getting a great deal and are just hoping to get a quality house/location. No flood of listings is expected either, based on recent counts:

NSDCC Annual Inventory & Sales

Year
4Q # of Listings
Annual # of Listings
Annual # of Sales
Sales/Listings
2011
915
5,224
2,562
0.49
2012
761
4,416
3,154
0.71
2013
728
4,819
3,218
0.67
2014
762
4,696
2,851
0.61
2015
869
5,085
3,088
0.61
2016
839
5,186
3,108
0.60
2017
756
4,656
3,098
0.67
2018
869
4,856
2,815
0.58
2019
795
4,759
2,833
0.60

The 2019 inventory was right in between 2017 and 2018, and the fourth quarter was fairly quiet.

Will it get any better in 2020?

Total Listings, Jan 1-15:

2019: 213

2020: 169

There will be some listings coming onto the MLS that will be dated Jan 1-15, but not enough to catch last year’s number. But buyers should hang in there – we should see 800+ new NSDCC listings coming in February-March (we had 869 last year). If the February-March listings pop to 900+, the additional choices should ignite sales.

Early Surge

Last Wednesday I was discussing the current market conditions with Candis while at her listing of a Davidson home on Calle Pera – which we both thought was priced right and should be selling in spite of it being on the market for 50 days.

I mentioned to her that it seemed like home buying comes in waves, or surges now.  The market goes quiet for a few weeks, then a bunch of homes will sell at the same time. We agreed that her listing should be the next to go pending….and if/when it does, will several more will go pending too?

Looks like it!

Since Wednesday, we’ve had 63 new pendings, including hers on Calle Pera!  You could say that we’re just coming off the holidays, but this isn’t the spring selling season…yet. Or is it?

It’s not just the hot new listings either – only 15 of the 63 new pendings had been on the market for seven days or less.  Here are eleven that had been on the market for 100+ days:

When eleven homes go pending that have been on the market for months, it’s not a fluke – those are retail sales happening early!  With good weather and no football this weekend, the lucky streak should continue.

Are you waiting to put your home on the market?  The reason to list it sooner instead of later is to avoid competition.  There probably aren’t many if any other listings around you now, and that could change in a hurry – and have impact on your eventual sales price.

I’m nervous about the competition between two-million-dollar condos in downtown San Diego, so I put our new listing on compass.com as a Coming Soon to gain some awareness among buyers while we do a quick spruce up.  It appeared on our website yesterday morning, and since then Compass agents have inputted another 19 new Coming-Soon listings!

Hopefully the early momentum will feed on itself. Let’s go!!

Getting Rid of Stuff

From the WSJ – thanks Sergio:

As a top Hollywood talent agent for over 40 years, Deborah Miller Lakoff represented big names like William Devane, Ned Beatty, Bob Uecker and Julio Iglesias. For proof, one could just look in her garage.

“There was a massive collection of stuff” stored there, says Fred Meyer, who is Ms. Miller Lakoff’s nephew. In addition to autographed memorabilia and keepsakes, there was furniture, books, records, clothes, family heirlooms, photos and formal dinnerware.

Last year, Ms. Miller Lakoff decided to move from her 2,300-square-foot home in Marina del Rey, Calif., to the 4,000-square-foot house in San Diego where her husband, Sanford Lakoff, lives. (Theirs had been a long-distance marriage for 10 years.) In the next few months, the couple plans to downsize again and move into a roughly 2,000-square-foot apartment in a retirement community. But before any of that could happen Ms. Miller Lakoff had to get rid of a lifetime of accumulated things and sell the house where she had lived for 35 years.

The first hurdle was to decide what items would make the trip to San Diego. Ms. Miller Lakoff and Mr. Meyer, her nephew, worked on that task together. “You need someone who can persuade you to get rid of a lot of stuff. Fred was that person,” Ms. Miller Lakoff says. She resold some of her clothes, record albums and books to second-hand shops, and donated much of her furniture to two young families that had just bought a home. Mr. Meyer digitized photographs and distributed many of his aunt’s heirlooms and keepsakes among family members. “Everybody was thrilled to see this stuff,” he says.

The second—and bigger—challenge was deciding what to do with everything else. For this, she called in reinforcements, hiring Greg Gunderson, president and owner of Gentle Transitions, a Manhattan Beach, Calif., company that specializes in helping people downsize and move.

Mr. Gunderson called in a number of dealers and collectors who purchased some of the high-value items, with all of the proceeds going to Ms. Miller Lakoff. Finally, Mr. Gunderson’s team also packed up everything and did a final “clean out” of the house so it would be ready for the next owner. The whole process took between 2½ and three months and cost $2,300, says Mr. Gunderson. He charges $75 an hour, adding that a typical move to a one- or two-bedroom apartment in a retirement community ranges from $3,000 to $6,000.

The daunting task of downsizing has led to an array of companies and services that promise to make the process easier. Much of the focus is on getting rid of things and coordinating the move. But the real service is persuading people to “let go” of items they’ve held on to for decades.

“There are ways to honor the memory of something without having the physical piece in front of you,” says Mary Kay Buysse, executive director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers, a trade organization with about 1,000 member companies.

When helping their 89-year-old mother downsize in Greenwich, Conn., David Borie and his sister, Mary Zara, turned to a Darien company called The Settler. Their mother, a retired artist and interior designer, had chosen the move-management company to help her deal with the contents of her 6,000-square-foot house and coordinate her relocation into a 2,000-square-foot apartment in a Stamford, Conn., retirement community. The company put color-coded stickers on items to designate their status—if they were going to be moved to the new apartment, given to a family member, sold, donated or thrown away.

Before any artwork was removed, Mr. Borie made giclée reproductions (high-quality prints made with an ink jet printer) of some of the pieces their mother had painted, along with a lesser-known portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart. (Washington is a Borie family ancestor, a seventh great uncle.) He and his other three siblings each received the reproductions and also had the option to get a giclée print of a painting by another ancestor, Adolphe Borie.

The four siblings supported The Settler’s objectives, but to minimize any quibbles, the company listed all of their mother’s possessions on a spreadsheet and let the children rank them from 1 to 75. The Settler’s staffers used a draft system to ensure that items were distributed fairly.

“Nobody got everything they wanted, but we each got some things. And nobody felt someone else got the advantage,” Mr. Borie says. He declined to divulge what the The Settler was paid, but owner Pinny Randall says her company’s services typically range from $10,000 to $15,000.

There were some emotional moments throughout the process. Mr. Borie and his sister worked hard to ensure that their mother was comfortable with downsizing.

His recommendation: Start the process early, when things are less likely to get muddled. And children should be sensitive to psychological struggles when a parent is asked to let go of a lifetime of memories and leave a home they may have occupied for up to 50 years.

Still, once the job is done, many downsizers say they feel a sense of liberation and relief. “Cleaning your shelves and getting rid of things is just a wonderful thing to do,” says Sheri Koones, author of the recently published “Downsize: Living Large in a Small House.” Three years ago, Ms. Koones downsized from a 6,800-square-foot home in Greenwich, Conn., to a 1,700-square-foot home there and got rid of 90% of what she owned.

Link to WSJ article

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