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Unlike last year, buyers aren’t jumping at every listing – we just saw that the SD inventory is up about 13% compared to last February.

Though every talking head reminds us that rates are still ‘historically low’, nobody is going to buy a house today just to lock in the rate.  If anything, buyers are willing to wait-and-see if a further rise in rates might drive prices downward.

It is a more-cautious market, yet sales are streaming in – here’s how the NSDCC sales for January/February compare to previous years:

Year
# of Sales
Avg SP/sf
Avg DOM
2006
358
$500/sf
65
2012
339
$366/sf
94
2013
373
$389/sf
66
2014
338
$496/sf
53

Will this selling season get up to frenzy-speed like last year?

Or just settle in at a more-leisurely pace?

We’ll know in the next 30-45 days. There is a natural lull around April 15th, and momemtum will have to be flowing by then to push a frenzy for another couple of months.

What will it take?

More listings priced reasonably – which sounds far-fetched, on both counts – and buyers willing to pay more than last year.

Here are the new-listings counts, and the LP-per-sf for each area:

Total Number of NSDCC Detached-Homes Listed Between Jan 1 – Feb 28

Area
Zip Code
2013
2014
Carlsbad SE
92009
192, $276/sf
190, $321/sf
Carlsbad SW
92011
105, $288/sf
94, $336/sf
Carmel Valley
92130
163, $378/sf
169, $422/sf
Del Mar/Solana
14+75
117, $635/sf
130, $715/sf
Encinitas
92024
142, $460/sf
156, $510/sf
La Jolla
92037
247, $691/sf
209, $681/sf
RSF
67+91
109, $540/sf
99, $595/sf
Totals
All Above
1,075, $478/sf
1,047, $513/sf

The numbers are similar enough that they could be considered noise: 3% fewer listings at +7% higher list pricing with 10% fewer sales in the first two months of 2014 (though that will be closer to -5% with late-reporters).

I think buyers will be more picky as time goes on, and the bidding-war firefights will dwindle as sellers keep pushing higher.

A more-leisurely frenzy for the next 1-2 months?

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