“Pre-Approved Price” Short Sales

The policy of lenders pre-approving an acceptable price for their short sales is becoming more common, and with this offer, they should have plenty of takers!

Bank of America is excited to offer enhanced relocation assistance.

Qualified homeowners who initiate a Preapproved Price short sale (without an offer) could be eligible to receive $5,000 – $30,000 in relocation assistance* and owe no more on their mortgage with the sale of their property, depending on the investor involved.

*Specific investor participation and eligibility criteria do apply to these programs.

Contact Jim the Realtor to get started!  jim@jimklinge.com or (858) 560-7700.

San Diego Case-Shiller Index July

The San Diego seasonally-adjusted Case-Shiller Index for July, 2012, showed it’s first year-over-year increase in 19 months.  The 154.21 reading was 0.8% higher than July, 2011, and 0.1% higher month-over-month.  It is still 5.7% lower than the most-recent high from May, 2010.

From David Blitzer:

“Home prices increased again in July,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “All 20 cities and both Composites were up on the month for the third time in a row. Even better, 16 of the 20 cities and both Composites rose over the last year.

“Digging into the numbers, 15 cities and both Composites had stronger annual returns in July’s report. “The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing. Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing.”

“All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue. For the third time in a row, all 20 cities and both Composites had monthly gains. Stronger housing numbers are a positive factor for other measures including consumer confidence.”

“The positive news in both the monthly and annual rates of change in home prices over the past few months signals a possible recovery in the housing market.”

From CR:

However, no one should expect the strong price increases to continue. The Case-Shiller Composite 20 index NSA was up 1.6% from June to July. However a large portion of that increase was seasonal. On a Seasonally Adjusted (SA) basis, the Composite 20 index was up 0.4%. That is a 5% annualized rate – and that will probably not continue. I suspect much of the increase over the last few months was a “bounce off the bottom” and prices increases over the next year or two will probably be more gradual.

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/#ttqilR7SJG60KY7s.99

Utilizing the Selling Strategies

A video tour of a La Jolla near-oceanfront house plus the three selling strategies.

A listing agent who is aware of the strategies, and who generates the correct market data to implement them, can make a seller’s life easy – because you will be presented with the specific and clear choices.

Listing agents send feedback requests to every agent who shows the house, but those bring back hogwash – nonsense like “the buyers didn’t like the floor plan”, or “they aren’t ready to purchase yet”.  I’m talking about price exploration, which is only available from personally interviewing the buyers and agents on the front lines.

Happy Anniversary!

Seven years of bubbleinfo are complete – today is the start of Year 8!

Have you checked out the bubbleinfo.com twitter account?

Twitter offers a better format for the readers – it gives a simple one-sentence description before linking to the post, making it easier for you to decide if it is worth your time.  It complies with copyright law too.


You DON’T need a twitter account – click it and see!

For those who want to gain more insight on the general real estate market conditions, the twitter account will give you more articles, data, and reports than you have been getting here.

If you’re not a twitter person, stay right here and know that the bubbleinfo.com format will focus solely on the local market.  It will include the videos, tips, and JtR insight as usual.  The posts entered here will auto-feed, so twitter readers won’t have to go back and forth – you’ll see bubbleinfo posts on the twitter account.

As this anniversary approached, I went back to the beginning.  It reminded me of what the original intent was, and always has been – to provide a resource where readers can learn about the real estate market, and demonstrate why Jim the Realtor is a good choice to be your agent. I think the twitter account will allow me to reach more people with better overall content, and keep the focus here strictly on NSDCC sales.

Hopefully there will come a day when this enterprise gets passed to the next generation, and it has been made clear by them to me – social media is the future.  Let’s include it now!

Year-To-Date Summary

Year-to-Date Summary for North SD County Coastal Region (La Jolla to Carlsbad)

While it feels like prices have been going up, on average it looks like the NSDCC pricing has merely extended the trend around $380/sf that began in early 2009.  It appears that buyers were encouraged further this year when mortgage rates dipped under 4% in late-2011, as sales spiked in early-spring.  But there hasn’t been a break out of the pricing range, at least not yet:

Sellers deserve credit for their willingness to sell their house for what the market will bear, because on average it wasn’t for much more money than they could have gotten over the last couple of years.

Will it continue through the rest of the year, or have most, if not all, the motivated sellers been cleared out?  Second-half sales over the last three years around NSDCC have been eerily similar, but they didn’t have a major election to distract them.  I think we can expect sales to taper off steadily the rest of the year, just like the last three years:

What about the distressed sales?  Especially the possibility of them undermining any price improvement?  Thankfully the number of regular sales has been growing faster than either the REOs or short-sales, keeping the share of distressed sales steady at 18%, just like last year:

How “normal” is the current market?  If you gauge it by the number of sales, it is as normal as possible.  In the NSDCC region, we have averaged 1,995 detached closings between Jan 1st and Aug. 31st over the last 13 years.  In 2012 we had 2,028 closings – the closest to the 1,995 average of any of the 13 years – and it’s also the median:

What about pricing – it hasn’t normalized, compared to wages, incomes, unemployment, blah, blah.  Maybe not, but the Fed’s policy of keeping rates ultra-low has changed the game.  More investors are buying real estate just for the yields, and owner-occupiers are buying houses for $285,000 more than they were in 2001, but making the same payment:

2001 – $540,000 sales price with 20% down and 7.5% rate = $3,797/mo. PITI

2012 – $825,000 sales price with 20% down and 3.625% rate = $3,801/mo. PITI

As a result, pricing has at least stabilized, and if we can erase the boom-boom era of 2004-2008 from this graph, and draw a trend line from before to after, it wouldn’t look that out of line:

The impact of lower inventory?  I think it’s just taken out the OPT fluff that we’ve had previously:

Total Detached New Listings, Jan. 1st to Aug. 31st

2009 – 3,748

2010 – 3,977

2011 – 3,923

2012 – 3,327

The inventory drop of 15% doesn’t change much; it’s how all the good buys go flying off the market in this efficient, internet-driven marketplace that has the real impact.  The good buys go to the market-educated, well-funded, and most nimble buyers, leaving the junk and over-priced turkeys to the casual observers.  No changes are expected to that program.

Another Index Rising

Home sellers like reading the happier news these days, and buyers don’t mind thinking that it’s safer to jump in.  The lower volume could make for more volatile swings though – in either direction!  From dsnews.com:

The picture gets rosier for housing as home prices continue their climb back to the top.

One recent price index puts the July increase for prices at 0.9 percent, with prices achieving their first sustained recovery on a year-over-year basis since the market went bust in 2007.

According to FNC, which recently released the Residential Price Index, property values also went up in July, securing gains for the fifth straight month.

More notably, the index shows that for the first time since the housing market collapsed in 2007, home prices are beginning to recover on a year-over-year basis, highlighting a major turning point in market trends.

Home prices also ticked up more than 4.6 percent since January this year, the firm said.

Figures for indices covering prices across the country and 40 metro areas revealed a sustained pickup, with home prices gaining cumulatively by 3 percent over the last three months.

The firm found two much larger indices reporting 12-month highs, with positive growth marking a first in five years. Prices rose in several cities, including San Francisco (4.4 percent), Detroit (3.6 percent), Boston (3.4 percent), San Diego (2.2 percent), and Riverside (2 percent).

Chicago showed signs that it may be suffering from a seasonal setback, according to FNC, with prices down 0.9 percent in the Windy City.

Roughly half of the markets showed signs of growth, helped along by Phoenix (10.1 percent), Detroit (7.2 percent), Houston (5.8 percent), Miami (4.3 percent), and Dallas (4 percent).

Some of the same cities also saw prices appreciate. Those included Detroit (10.1 percent), San Francisco (9.1 percent), Dallas (8.7 percent), Boston (8.1 percent), and Washington, D.C. (7.7 percent), FNC said.

CV Heights

This is a great example of how to time your listing around others in the immediate area. 

There are two pendings nearby, which feel like comps even though they aren’t closed.  Their list prices are $1,595,000 and $1,450,000, so all you have to do is snuggle up under them, price-wise, and hope that buyers don’t look at the photos too hard:

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