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spenceWe’ve been witnessing Zillow’s ascension to power over the last couple of years, and their CEO continues to get mainstream-media attention every week.

He’s not a realtor, his company doesn’t sell real estate, and frankly, he is just spewing guesses disguised as facts, just like the rest of the ivory-tower crowd.

In his latest installment – and the second time he has said this on national TV – he says that the low inventory is caused by homeowners being underwater.

But in San Diego, LA, and San Francisco where prices are back to peak or higher, the inventory shortage hasn’t changed.  In NSDCC where average pricing has increased 34% over the last two years, the number of new listings is dropping!

NSDCC Detached-Home New Listings Jan 1 – Apr 15

Year
# of New Listings
Avg. LP/sf
2009
1,681
$498/sf
2010
1,680
$467/sf
2011
1,757
$447/sf
2012
1,464
$449/sf
2013
1,554
$493/sf
2014
1,431
$541/sf

Thousands of homeowners are regaining equity every day around here, and yet they aren’t moving.  Why are they not moving?  Here’s what I see in the field:

1.  Finding a decent home at a decent price is so hard that NOT moving is easier and more convenient.

2.  Remodeling is a viable alternative.

3.  You have to leave town to make it worth it – people don’t want to leave.

4.  Self-employed people who cheat on their taxes don’t show enough income to qualify for a new mortgage, and get stuck in their old house.

5.  Sellers waiting for higher prices because they don’t have to move.

It is sad commentary that N.A.R. and other organizations who are in a position to report the facts are remaining silent.  Zillow is becoming the go-to company for real estate reports, solely because they are the only ones doing the talking.

Attention national media: I am willing to give honest and accurate quotes – call anytime!  Or at least take what you see here and investigate for yourself – these ivory-tower guys don’t know what they are talking about.

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