Malls to Housing

They should have thought of this at Mugger Mall in Carlsbad before throwing millions at it – hat tip daytrip:

In the San Fernando Valley, there are plans to level a nearly vacant mall and replace it with some 1,400 homes, boutique retail shops and a concert venue.

In Orange County, an aging mall will give way to a mixed-use development with more than 900 homes. And in the South Bay, hundreds of homes are planned to replace a struggling mall that opened in the mid-1980s.

An old adage implores investors to “buy land; they’re not making it anymore.” But in a way, in cities across the country, they are.

Acres of prime real estate are opening for redevelopment as America’s malls struggle to compete with Amazon and other online giants, offering developers a rare shot to remake swaths of land in the country’s built-out metropolises.

In particular, real estate experts say, the demise of retail centers provides one of the best chances to add needed housing in California’s urban regions, where a shortage has left nearly 30% of renters in the state paying more than half their income on housing.

“It’s a huge opportunity — probably one of the biggest,” said Adam Artunian, a vice president with John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Irvine.

The redevelopments are likely to face hurdles from residents concerned over the changing character of their neighborhoods, but as Americans increasingly buy T-shirts, purses and electronics online experts say something needs to be done with all the massive retail centers that popped up during the postwar era before they become neighborhood blights.

A recent report from Credit Suisse predicted the trend will result in 20% to 25% of America’s malls closing in the next five years.

Read full article here:

Getting Hotter?


In such a tight market, buyers are running out of options, said Chief Economist Danielle Hale.

“Days on market and the number of new listings coming to market are lower than we typically see in the fall season, while listing views per property continue to move higher,” she said in a statement.

We saw here that the inventory usually surges at this time of year.  But compared to previous Septembers, our selection is sparse at best:

NSDCC September New Listings:

2012: 320

2013: 406

2014: 365

2015: 405

2016: 413

2017: 311 (with a couple of days to go)

Look at the similarity – it was in the fall of 2012 that the Frenzy of 2013 began.  Will the selling season of 2018 be just as crazy?

Latest Tax Proposal

Here is the N.A.R. press release on Trump’s tax reform, and reiterates the same threat that home values will plummet if the M.I.D. goes away:

WASHINGTON (September 27, 2017) – A group of legislators and administration leaders known as the “Big 6” today released an outline for comprehensive tax reform that if enacted, according to the National Association of Realtors®, could lead to a tax on homeownership for millions.

According to the Big 6’s framework for tax reform, changes to the current tax code would eliminate important provisions, such as the state and local tax deduction, while nearly doubling the standard deduction and eliminating personal and dependency exemptions. NAR believes the result would all but nullify the incentive to purchase a home for most, amounting to a de facto tax increase on homeowners, putting home values across the country at risk and ensuring that only the top 5 percent of Americans have the opportunity to benefit from the mortgage interest deduction.

NAR President William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties said that the proposal reaffirms Realtors®’ concerns from earlier in the year and urged lawmakers to keep homeowners in mind as they proceed with comprehensive tax reform with the following statement:

 “We have always said that tax reform – a worthy endeavor – should first do no harm to homeowners. The tax framework released by the Big 6 today missed that goal.

“This proposal recommends a backdoor elimination of the mortgage interest deduction for all but the top 5 percent who would still itemize their deductions.


2017 Housing Survey

There’s a wealth of data on home buyers, sellers and renters in this year’s Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends – a self-administered study that gathered information between May 17 and June 5, 2017 from a total of 13,125 key household decision-makers.

Zillow’s 15 favorites:


  • Thirty-nine percent of Baby Boomer and 25 percent of Silent Generation homeowners* still live in the first home they bought. There are likely several million homes that will hit the market over the next two decades for the first time since the 1950s or 1960s. What state will they be in? This is potentially a pool of “affordable” entry-level homes.
  • Forty percent of U.S. homeowners share their home with a pet. The data on Americans and their pets is so sparse, it’s a socio-economic research black hole. It was great to finally put a number on the phenomenon. And the number is impressive: Four in 10 American homeowners have a pet (mostly dogs).
  • Fourteen percent of U.S. homeowners say their home needs serious updating; 61 percent say their home could use “a little updating.” This speaks to the enormous potential demand in the American economy for home improvement labor and materials, and to an often-overlooked cost (both financial and emotional) of homeownership.


  • When renters* decide to relocate, it’s often prefaced by an increase in rent. Seventy-nine percent of renters who moved from a previous rental experienced a rent increase before moving, with more than half (57 percent) indicating that their decision to move was directly influenced by that increase, including 26 percent who state they were greatly affected by a rent increase previously. Only 21 percent experienced no rent increase in their prior home before moving.
  • Today’s renters cast a wide net to find a new place, contacting a variety of property managers and landlords, all while hoping for a timely response back. On average, a renter contacts 4.5 landlords or property managers and submits 2.6 applications. Almost a third (32 percent) submit three or more applications, demonstrating that for renters in competitive and fast-moving markets, disappointment and competition are now an unfortunate part of the rental process.
  • African-American/black renters submit 3.1 and Hispanic/Latino renters submit 2.9 applications for a rental home, on average, compared with just 2.3 for Caucasian/white renters.
  • When renters move, most stay in the same city (53 percent), and 12 percent even stay in the same neighborhood. Only 30 percent move to a different city (but stay in the same state), and 15 percent move to a different state. When it comes down to it, moving can be a heavy lift, and many renters may end up becoming comfortable with their neighborhood and its offerings.


  • Nearly a third (29 percent) of buyers* go over budget. More than a third of Millennial buyers (37 percent) go over budget, compared with 27 percent of Generation X buyers, 19 percent of Baby Boomers and 25 percent of the Silent Generation. Perhaps due to their inexperience, first-time buyers (many of them Millennials) are more likely to exceed their budget (32 percent) than repeat buyers (27 percent). Blowing the budget could also be tied to the fact that more than half of homes available to buy are valued in the top one-third of all homes. More than 40 percent of home buyers are first-time buyers, compounding the intense competition for less expensive homes.
  • Fifty-seven percent of first-time buyers also considered renting, with Millennials most likely to consider that path (62 percent). Given the state of the market for first-time and younger buyers noted above, it’s no wonder. Owning a home can have a lot of financial advantages over the long haul compared to renting, but renting offers flexibility for many would-be buyers who are not quite ready to make a jump.


  • Millennials make up almost one-third (32 percent) of sellers*. For all the talk about Millennials having trouble saving down payments and getting into their first homes, a fair share of them have both done that and are turning around to sell.
  • While 36 percent of sellers attempt to sell their homes on their own, although only 11 percent actually do. Many sellers who attempt to or do sell their homes on their own believe it saves time (36 percent) and money (57 percent). Some feel they’re their own best agents because they know their homes better than any agent could (27 percent), or they’ve had negative experiences with an agent (14 percent). Almost a third of these sellers already have a potential buyer in mind (29 percent), eliminating the need for an agent’s help with marketing.
  • One in two sellers (50 percent) sell their home below its list price. Millennial (30 percent) and Generation X sellers (24 percent) are more likely to sell their homes above list price than older generations (11 percent of Baby Boomer and 19 percent of Silent Generation sellers). This trend is attributable in part to location: Younger sellers are more likely to be selling a home in an urban area, where homes sell above their listing prices 29 percent of the time (compared with 20 percent in the suburbs and 13 percent in rural areas).

Off-Market Sales

Two things never discussed about off-market sales:

1) Every agent signed an agreement to share their listings with other agents.

2) Nobody reads the forms before signing.

When Barbara Hendrickson’s 90-year-old neighbor needed to sell her Berkeley home, crammed with 40 years’ worth of belongings, Hendrickson, a real estate agent, sold the house for her without putting it on the market.

“She was not up to the task of cleaning out all that stuff,” said Hendrickson, an agent with Red Oak Realty. The off-market sale enabled the neighbor to quickly dispose of the house and move to Baton Rouge to be closer to relatives. The buyers took on the onerous job of clearing out the accumulated furniture and possessions.

In general, selling a house off-market isn’t the best approach, experts say. The California Association of Realtors recommends against it, as do East Bay agents including Hendrickson. But sometimes, as in the case of Hendrickson’s neighbor, there are exceptions.

To be clear, “selling off-market” means not listing the house on the local Multiple Listing Service, and is also described as off-market sales or pocket sales.


Kayla’s Trendy Tuesday

It is officially FALL!

I love the summer season – mainly because my birthday is in July 😉 – but there is nothing like the crisp cold air and putting on that fuzzy sweater and UGGS!

What I love even more, are the holidays and getting that fireplace going. Is there anything better than listening to Christmas music along with the crackling sound of that fire? Yeah, not really!

There are so many different looks for a good fireplace.

I personally like the sleek, horizontal modern look OR a farmhouse brick vibe that gives you that nice cozy “at home” feeling. Back in the day (as in a few years ago), many people had a huge built-in entertainment center. Some people still do!

However with the world moving at such a rapid pace, there isn’t a need for all the compartments of an entertainment center. You can basically stream anything with a Smart TV or Apple TV – so many people don’t even use cable thanks to Hulu and Netflix! I think when it comes to a fireplace, less is more! It will look a lot cleaner and be more of a focal point in your home if you get rid of all the “stuff” around it!

Below is a link to our Pinterest board with some of my favorite fireplaces. Some of our readers might even recognize one or two from our previous sales!

And for those that don’t have a fireplace but still want the feeling, once it gets closer to the holidays you can stream “The Yule Log” on your TV. I used to play it all the time in college. It’s a video of a wood burning fire and it plays Christmas music – it is very soothing and calming. So for those that hate the mess of an actual fire, this is the way to go!

Happy Tuesday!

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, July

Our monthly change in the local Case-Shiller Index came back to earth, somewhat, and it’s probably what we can expect for the rest of the year.

If the index keeps increasing at the +0.6% clip every month, then we will hit a new all-time record in December!

San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:

January ’17

The highest reading of the San Diego NSA CSI was 250.34 in November, 2005.

The most-recent low point was 144.43 in April, 2009.

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