San Diego Case-Shiller, Nov., 2015

Four other towns experienced their all-time highs, but the San Diego Case-Shiller Index for November barely got off the mat, rising a scant 0.28% from October.  It made up for the decline last month, and shows how general pricing data will bounce around from now on.

Link to story.

The talking heads will report how ‘prices’ went up or down, but that is a generalization.  The index went up slightly, and that’s all we know.

Here are the San Diego NSA changes for 2015:

M-o-M chg
Y-o-Y chg

I revised each monthly index today by a couple of basis points to reflect the exact amount reported on the Case-Shiller Index website. I get the data from the same place every month – I think they revised their numbers.  The seasonaly-adjusted number is 216.04, so I’m sticking with the non-seasonally-adjusted. We don’t have ‘seasons’ that some ivory-tower guy can quantify.


Pushing Zillow Agents


Here is what agents who hate Zillow should fear the most – national television giving the CEO the floor, where he directs consumers to Zillow in order to select an agent based on their reviews.

Spence is doing what everyone in the industry should be doing – educating the public – but how often do you see it on a platform this size?

Click here:

Spring Kickin’

uper bowl

Our Spring Selling Season usually gets moving after the Super Bowl is complete, but is anyone excited to see Carolina vs. Denver?

The sports media will do their best to generate some juicy story lines, but San Diegans won’t have much at stake with this matchup.

Let’s just get on with the Spring Kick!

The count of new NSDCC listings in the last week was 102, which is the highest count since early July – so sellers are cooperating!  Mortgage rates have dipped, pricing has moderated (Case-Shiller tomorrow), ‘Coming Soon’ signs are everywhere, the forecast for rain is favorable, and they are practically giving away gasoline!

january rates



Let’s kick it up!

Inventory Watch

scramble is on

For the first three weeks of 2016, the new-listings count is 9% higher than last year (301 vs. 276).  The median list price is running 12% higher also, which means for buyers there is good news, and bad news – you have more inventory to consider, but it’s going to cost you.

Of the 301 new listings, only 80 of them were priced under $1,000,000 (27%), and twenty of those have already gone pending, or 25%.  Of those listed above $1,000,000, eleven percent have gone pending, which isn’t bad!

Click on the link below for the complete NSDCC active-inventory data:


Home Staging in 2016

pillow ironing

Higher prices bring more expectations, and today, buyers want to be dazzled.  Staging really helps with the oddball floor plans or houses full of clutter, but should every seller do it?

An excerpt:

Homeowners, reluctant to spend the money or admit that their decorating choices might not be catnip to buyers, are often loath to pay strangers to impose their tastes on their premises.

But as staging has evolved over the past decade, many real estate professionals say it has become more important — and more sophisticated — than ever.

“It always makes a difference, and is essential in this market,” said Richard Balzano, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman Real Estate who frequently refers his clients to stagers and even pays for the preliminary consultations.

In the past, many stagers focused on decluttering and implementing minor tweaks in furnished homes. Or they appointed vacant apartments with basic rental furniture to prove that rooms were large enough for regular sofas and queen-size mattresses.

Today, they are increasingly tackling all-out transformations that aim to present compelling contemporary design, while projecting a complete aspirational package.

“It’s not just about solving a problem now, but much more about presenting a lifestyle to prospective buyers,” said Jane Saidenberg, the design director of Studio D, a staging company with offices in New York and San Francisco. “People want it to look like a shelter magazine, or like something they’ve seen on TV. It’s more elevated than it has been in the past.”

Read full article here (with 200+ comments since Frday):

Why Improve to Sell?

why paint

During the radio show I mentioned that in my latest survey of NSDCC sales, 42% of the home sellers had owned their home for 12 years or more.

These long-time owners grapple with improvements to sell – where do you start, and where do you stop?

I suggested beefing up the curb appeal, and new carpet and paint.

Improving the curb appeal is understandable; 1) the first impression is critical, and 2) landscaping and power-washing are quick, easy, and cheap.

But carpet and paint?  Why bother?

A common response is that sellers would rather have the buyers select their own favorites – especially with flooring, because there are so many choices.

Here’s why sellers should consider spending the money:

  1.  Any neutral color will work, and anything is better than the used-up, dingy, 12-year old look you have now.
  2.  Buyers typically don’t have great vision to see past old carpet and paint.
  3.  Many buyers just want – or need – to move in right away, and do improvements over time.  New carpet and paint looks move-in ready.
  4.  You’ll look better than the competition.
  5.  New carpet and paint not only look clean, they smell clean!
  6.  You will sell faster, and for more money!

If you don’t install new carpet and paint, the house will be labeled a ‘fixer’ in the minds of most buyers.  You will lose the buyers who can’t, or won’t, afford the necessary improvements (real and imagined), and those still standing will expect a discount off the sales price.

Because buyers aren’t that familiar with the cost of improvements, their idea of a discount will be larger than yours!

(Here is a link to the whole radio show)



These guys are taking a lot of risks to be only making 6.5% on each sale.  They would be crazy to try it in the higher-end markets!

Opendoor Labs Inc., the home-buying startup co-founded by former PayPal and Square executive Keith Rabois, quietly raised $80 million in new funding last year as it expands to new parts of the country.

The San Francisco company led by CEO Eric Wu uses data and software to simplify the process of selling a home quickly. It does so at a discount to what a homeowner might get on the open market but promises a much quicker deal.

It started out in Arizona and expanded to the Dallas, Texas, area after raising two rounds of funding last year. Its $80 million Series C round in October followed a $20 million Series B round in February.

Opendoor has now raised about $110 million altogether since I wrote about them in a June 2014 Silicon Valley Business Journal cover story. Backers include Access Industries, GGV Capital and Khosla Ventures (where Rabois is a partner).

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that through mid-December, Opendoor had bought and sold just over 200 homes. It also owned about 30 homes at that time that it had failed to resell for at least six months.

The Journal said the company paid an average $230,000 and resold them within 90 days for an average of $245,000.

In addition to Dallas, Opendoor is also targeting Las Vegas, Denver and Portland, Oregon. But it is avoiding expensive markets like Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

NSDCC 2016 New Listings


How are we getting out of the box in 2016?

The listings count is on the rise, combined with a relentless push on prices!

Buyers look like they want to go in the other direction, price-wise, but the 93 solds is a great sign that sellers and buyers are finding a way to come together!

It should be an exciting spring!

New Listings, Jan 1-15
Median LP
Solds, Jan 1-15
Median SP

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