Sell in December for Tax Benefit

For those homeowners who have lived in their residence for less than five years and are thinking of selling, now is the time!

Some home sellers would need a sale contract inked before the end of 2017 in order to avoid a big tax bill that would be imposed if the GOP tax reform proposals become law. Both the House and Senate bills would require sellers to have lived in their residence for a longer period of time before qualifying for the capital gains tax exclusion on the sale of a primary home. They would have to live in their house at least five years out of the last eight; right now, the requirement is two years out of the last five.

The Senate version, however, includes an exception for transactions in which a contract is written before Jan. 1, even if the closing occurs in 2018. The bill passed by the House includes no such exception. Therefore, homeowners who are currently thinking about selling have only one month left to complete a deal before proposed tax changes would take effect.

Should tax reform be enacted, some homeowners who sell in 2018 may no longer qualify for the capital gains exclusion, which covers up to $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a married couple. As a result, the difference between your client’s tax bill pre- and post-tax reform could be huge.

It won’t be known whether the House or Senate version of tax reform is adopted until the bill is finalized, which could happen in a few weeks. But sellers who haven’t lived in their house for more than five of the last eight years will want to act quickly regardless of the version that is approved.

San Diego Pendings Count

I’m not sure how the C.A.R prognosticators can look at these Y-o-Y numbers and still forecast higher sales for next year – unless they think the supply will inflate with thousands of desperate realtors having to sell their own homes?


The North County Coastal region (La Jolla to Carlsbad) is doing well, considering that December begins tomorrow – only a 17% drop since summer:

August 22nd: 373 pendings, 194 at 20+ days on market

November 30th: 309 pendings, 196 at 20+ days on market

There is no telling how many homes will come to market next year, or if there will be buyers willing to pay the usual Comps+5% pricing.

Get Good Help!

No Sundance For Us

The Sundance Film Festival released their official selections for the 2018 event in January, and we didn’t make the cut.  I’m sure Giorgio was bummed after putting in four years of effort, but he is still optimistic about getting into Tribeca and SXSW:

We had the most fun just shooting the film, so we’ll have good memories regardless – if none of the big festivals come around, we will still have a showing in Carlsbad at some point next year.  I’m not sure how much of us will make the final cut, but this was my favorite clip – Kayla being a realtor:

Here are a few blog posts, including the movie trailer: Forecast for 2018

Let’s also include the forecast from, which is different than N.A.R. –  the Murdoch forecast?  If their mortgage rate forecast comes true, and the tax reform sends buyers scurrying, it could be be a tumultuous year!

Home shoppers may have it easier in 2018. Inventory constraints of for-sale homes and rising home prices may finally start to ease next year, according to®’s 2018 National Housing Forecast.

“Next year will set the stage for a significant inflection point in the housing shortage,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for®. “Inventory increases will be felt in higher priced segments after spring home buying season, which we expect to take hold and begin to provide relief for buyers and drive sales growth in 2019 and beyond.”

But the big wild card for 2018 will be any impact from the proposed tax reform legislation, which is currently being debated by Congress,® adds.

Here’s a closer look at®’s five housing prediction trends for 2018:


C.A.R. Housing Market Forecast

Some snips from the recent C.A.R. Housing Market Forecast.

Our median sales price is close to the record set in May, 2006.  But we know that around San Diego’s North County Coastal region, most prices are well above their previous peak by at least 10% to 20%:

Not enough attention is directed towards the importance of clients working with realtors who are well-versed in bidding wars – especially when under $1,000,000.  Look at these stats:

The suggestion that foreigners and flippers have taken over the market doesn’t appear to be true – owner-occupants are still the vast majority of homebuyers:


San Diego Case-Shiller Index, Sept.

Our index showed the smallest monthly gain of the year in September, and it seals our fate – we’re not going to have double-digit appreciation this year.  But the 8.2% gain we are tracking year-over-year still looks pretty good!

“Most economic indicators suggest that home prices can see further gains,” S&P Dow Jones indexes managing director David Blitzer said, before adding the index is rising “at the fastest annual rate since June 2014.”

Seasonally adjusted, 13 of the 20 cities in the composite reported price increases in the year ending September 2017. Seattle, Las Vegas, and San Diego reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities.

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.

Rich’s SD Housing Graphs

Our friend Rich Toscano has his latest San Diego housing analysis here:

In spite of record prices, the inventory has been setting recent lows:

Yet, sales have been mostly better than every year since the Frenzy of 2013!

Fewer homes for sale but more sales?

Are sellers doing better to improve their homes before selling, or are buyers so desperate that they are buying crap they wouldn’t have bought during the last couple of years just purely because of the scarcity?

Full report here:

Inventory Watch

A quiet Thanksgiving week – I hope you had a great one!

We only had 23 new listings this week, but we had 37 new pendings!

In an interesting note in the Under-$800,000 category.

Three weeks ago we had 21 listings left, with an average days-on-market of 38 days.  Today we’re down to just 16 listings priced under $800,000, but those are averaging 62 days on market – a 63% increase, in spite of the average list price-per-sf being down 10% in the same period!

The other three categories have a slightly higher market time too – buyers sense that they can be more selective this time of year.


Multi-Gen On The Rise

If you look at the new homes being built around here, you’d think multi-generational living was the builders’ primary target!


Donna Butts remembers one of the moments that sold her on the idea that there was a sustained rise in the number of multigenerational households. As executive director of Generations United, a nonprofit that promotes intergenerational living, she was called to do an interview on the topic for a Louisiana radio station a few years ago. The host seemed wedded to stereotypes: He’d never want his mother-in-law to move in, since she’d be intrusive and annoying, and adult kids living with their parents were strictly a sign of spoiled millennials.

He was convinced, that is, until he opened the phone lines.

“So, he starts taking calls and everyone has a great story about living with a grandparents or a child under the same roof, and how it’s made their lives better,” Butts says, laughing. “At one point, seeming desperate to prove his point, he asks a guy point blank if having his parent live with his family harms his love life. He just replied, ‘Well, now I have a live-in babysitter, so no.’”

Butts says that this way of thinking—what she calls the ‘John Wayne, go-it-alone mentality’—is withering in the United States. Multigenerational living, when more than one generation lives under one roof (not counting young children or teens), has hit record levels in the U.S. In 2014, according to Pew Research Center data, 60.6 million people, or 19 percent of the U.S. population, lived in multigenerational homes, including 26.9 million three-generation households.

Read full article here:

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