The non-seasonally-adjusted San Diego Case-Shiller Index had another strong reading for May, setting a new all-time high of 257.46!
“Home prices continue to rack up gains two to three times greater than the inflation rate,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director & Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The year-over-year increases in the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index have topped 5% every month since August 2016.
Unlike the boom-bust period surrounding the financial crisis, price gains are consistent across the 20 cities tracked in the release; currently, the range of the largest to smallest price change is 10 percentage points compared to a 20 percentage point range since 2001, and a 25 percentage point range between 2006 and 2009. Not only are prices rising consistently, they are doing so across the country.”
“Continuing price increases appear to be affecting other housing statistics. Sales of existing single family homes – the market covered by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices – peaked last November and have declined for three months in a row. The number of pending home sales is drifting lower as is the number of existing homes for sale. Sales of new homes are also down and housing starts are flattening. Affordability – a measure based on income, mortgage rates and home prices – has gotten consistently worse over the last 18 months. All these indicators suggest that the combination of rising home prices and rising mortgage rates are beginning to affect the housing market.”
San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:
The previous peak was 250.34 in November, 2005. We are 3% above that now. We can probably expect the SDCSI to cool down in the second half of the year, just like it did the last two years!
Let’s note that in 4Q17, the cumulative change for the index was -0.1%.
Giorgio got a big publicity boost for the documentary film last week when he was featured on the Chris Hayes podcast. I hate to tease the crap out of it – the film will be released at some point, I promise. But in this 50-min podcast he lays the whole thing out:
He wrote this article about it too – an excerpt:
In May 2010, in the depths of the housing crisis, I was awarded a grant to photograph a collection of abandoned developments Inland Empire, California. With the mortgage market at a standstill and stocks creeping up from record lows, it seemed there weren’t many buyers for these brand new 5,000 square foot homes.
I rented a car for $12 a day and drove through an endless maze of freshly packed asphalt roads that wound their way through burnt down orange groves, making room for these half-built totems to a globalized housing market gone awry. On many streets, the eery quiet was interrupted only by Tyvek wrap flapping in the wind. Everything around me seemed to be slowly succumbing to the entropy of the brutal desert conditions, and I felt an overwhelming sense of alienation. What the hell had we built here?
At the top of this mountain pass, I came upon an empty home which had perhaps the best view of the entire development. Perched at the edge of the mountain face, overlooking Lake Matthew and miles of vast desert land, the only window facing this awe-inspiring, million-dollar view was a small bathroom window just above the attached garage. It was a profound moment, as this image has become emblematic to me of the utter lack of human intentionality that has overtaken home development in America today.
Simply put, the American single-family home has become a globally traded commodity, with no mission other than to be sold. Defining a home’s value has become increasing tied to a narrow set of assumptions (as are most commodities). And, overwhelmingly, that value is driven by size (price per square foot). But a home’s value should be a much more complex calculation. One that takes not just size into account, but also accounts for its lasting cultural and social impact.
Hat tip to Eddie89 for sending in this article on the prospects of Zillow’s ibuyer program, which looked a little sketchy to me too until it was divulged that these ibuyers are primarily in it to make the fee income, and if they can make a profit by selling the houses for more it will be icing on the cake:
Steve Eisman, an investor known for his correct bet against subprime mortgages a decade ago, told Bloomberg News that he’s taken a position against Zillow Group Inc. ZG, -7.08% calling its new venture into selling houses “a terrible business.”
That Zillow venture, then called “Instant Offers,” was announced in April, to mixed analyst reviews. “We are big fans of this pivot,” said Stephens’ John Campbell at the time. A few weeks later, RBC Capital downgraded the stock, saying the shift into what is now called Zillow Offers set the company up for a “transition year” even as the stock remained overvalued.
In response to a request for comment on Eisman’s remarks, a Zillow spokeswoman emailed, “we think Zillow Offers is an attractive service for sellers in all types of housing markets. In a slower market, our offer might seem even more attractive to a seller.” Zillow shares, which had been up more than 50% for the year to date, tumbled nearly 7% after Eisman’s appearance.
If Steve wants another reason, he should consider how realtors react to change in the market. Yesterday, I saw an agent in a private realtor Facebook group ask for alternatives to the Zillow advertising he has been doing, which is exceedingly expensive. Historically, the minute the market turns, realtors stop spending money, and I think that time is here.
If you rent out your entire home or even a room in your home (or your vacation property) for at least 15 days in a given year, you can get a surprising tax break under Trump’s new federal tax law!
How it works: As a short-term landlord, you can get around the new law’s caps on deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest.
Example of Deducting Property Tax: Let’s say that your annual property taxes total $14,000. Trump’s new law lets you deduct a maximum of $10,000 of combined property taxes and state and local income taxes. Say you rent out 50% of your home for half the year, but use the home yourself for the other half of the year. You can deduct 50% of that six months’ worth of property taxes–25% of th total property tax bill, or $3,500, on federal Schedule E, “Supplemental Income and Loss.” You can also deduct $10,000 on your Schedule A for itemized deductions, giving a total deduction of $13,500 rather than just $10,000.
Example of Deducting Mortgage Interest: Under the new law, for any first or second home you bought after 2017, you can deduct interest on up to $750,000 of the mortgage loan (compared with the $1 million previously). But rental property has no such cap. So if you rent out, say, 50% of a home that carries a $900,000 mortgage, you can deduct interest paid on the first $750,000 of the loan, as well as interest on half the remaining $150,000.
Note: Even if you opt for the standard deduction, rather than itemize–which means you can’t take the standard type of property tax and mortgage-interest deductions–you can still take deductions corresponding to the amount of time your house or a portion of it was rented out.
The recent changes to the tax law are very new, and it’s unclear how the IRS will interpret them, so talk to a professional to make sure you’re in the clear. Give him/her this link:
When I first saw this graph, I thought it was the perfect way to sum up the changes in the marketplace since the 2000-2009 era. Back then, people were younger, there were plenty of homes for sale, and prices were relatively affordable, so we always had a very fluid move-up and move-down market.
But to see that average tenure has doubled between 2009 and 2017 is striking.
Have the number of sales changed?
NSDCC Annual Sales of Detached Homes
Number of Sales
Annual % Chg in MSP
Given the huge change in price and that more people are staying put than ever, it is shocking to see that sales have been relatively consistent in recent years.
How do you explain it?
It must mean that the demand is fueled by those who don’t have a house yet – first-timers, and those coming from out of town. It explains why they jump at buying when they see a good one – they don’t have one yet. Those who already have a house here aren’t as impressed.
The population has grown 25% in San Diego County since 2000, and 30yr-fixed mortgage rates are about half of what they were then. But for sales to be this strong when repeat movers are so scarce, is remarkable!
P.S. We’ve had 1,620 closings this year, with a median SP = $1,321,500.
Hat tip to JT who sent in this doomy article about home sales:
Southern California home sales hit the brakes in June, falling to the lowest reading for the month in four years. Sales of both new and existing houses and condominiums dropped 11.8 percent year over year, as prices shot up to a record high, according to CoreLogic. The report covers Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties.
Sales fell 1.1 percent compared with May, but the average change from May to June, going back to 1988, is a 6 percent gain.
The weakness was especially apparent in sales of newly built homes, which were 47 percent below the June average. Part of that is that builders are putting up fewer homes, so there is simply less to sell.
“A portion of last month’s year-over-year sales decline reflects one less business day for deals to be recorded compared with June 2017,” noted Andrew LePage, a CoreLogic analyst. “But affordability and inventory constraints are likely the main culprits in last month’s sales slowdown, which applied to all six of the region’s counties and across most of the major price categories.”
Jim the Realtor is legit - I interviewed three brokers; he said list price should be $100,000 higher than the other two brokers; listed it with him and had all cash (no financing) offer in two days, five day contingency period, closing in two weeks - and it closed at his recommended list price. I could not recommend anyone more than I recommend Jim the Realtor.
When we moved to San Diego in 2005 we rented a big house on Mt. Soledad (La Jolla) with 180 degree ocean views for the same payment as a mortgage on a dump in Chula Vista. Clearly something was wrong. Yet, the media was full of the usual happy-talk nonsense, so I was glad to find Jim's blog. I've followed his honest assessments and data since.
We decided to sell and move to AZ at Thanksgiving. Dec. 1st we met with Jim to sell our home. We closed today (29 days later). Jim orchestrated a feeding frenzy -- we had 25 showings in 2-1/2 days, multiple offers, and sold for well over asking price. I'd say he earned his commission! We have owned and sold homes in 5 different States always using experienced, productive, full-time realtors. Jim outshines them all.
You don't decide to sell and close 29 days later over Christmas (with COVID lockdown) without some miracles. Donna was amazing at performing lots of those miracles and ensuring that everything was done right and on time. They are a terrific team with a very responsive and professional network.
Where do we begin..2020 has been a year for everyone. When COVID hit and shut down both my husband and my businesses, we were left with a mortgage and very little income coming in. We were stressed, scared and felt stuck. We made the hard decision to sell our home and move out of state. We contacted the Klinges' and spent a good hour going over what we hoped we could accomplish. Jim and Donna came over with comps in hand and suggestions on improvements to get our house ready for the market. It was overwhelming to think about, but Donna was there and one step ahead in every scenario. Basically we just approved what they suggested and Donna handled literally everything. We placed our house on the market and within the first day we had multiple offers well above asking price! We couldn't believe it. We were overjoyed! Jim countered the offers to weed through them, and everyone came back with way more. It was amazing, and we are ?? sure it was because of the staging and repairs the Klinges suggested we do.
Due to unforeseen dishonesty from the buyers lender, we hit a big hurdle when trying to close. We had already moved out of state and were shocked when three days before closing the lender dropped a bombshell on the buyers and us. However, Jim and Donna handled it like veterans, not afraid to play hard ball and represent their clients. After a few phone calls with us, and several between Donna and the lender, they had a plan B-Z to make sure we were taken care of. In the end we closed with even more money than we ever thought possible and with very little work from us. The Klinges handled this entire "2020" worthy event with the utmost professionalism and did everything in their power to not only make this as smooth as possible for us, but we also walked away with more money from the sale of the house than we ever hoped for. After working with Jim and Donna, you don't ever use anyone else. They are hands down the best team to represent you in any scenario.
Working with Klinge Realty Group was a great experience! They are very responsive, professional and knowledgable about the real estate market! I would definitely recommend Klinge Realty Group.
Jim and Donna Klinge made the sale of our condo extraordinarily easy. They know the market and gave us sound advice backed by details and very considerable experience, reflected both in the initial pricing and subsequent negotiations. They work together as a team and are always available to talk. We had a few challenges with our property and they were able to coordinate the resolution to everything, including items that I would not think would ordinarily be their responsibility to handle. They made the whole process effortless on our part. They are folks with high integrity and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Review for Member: Donna Klinge
I cannot believe there are no reviews of Donna yet, ugh!! She is the secret sauce of the Jim Klinge/Donna Klinge combo! I will touch on Jim here, but Donna is why I'm so totally loyal to these two (no offense to Jim :)).
I consider myself a rather savvy buyer/seller. I've bought/sold 7 times in about 15 years. On the buy side, Jim is the PERFECT combo of: completely digitally savvy (he will pull data all day long until you feel comfortable with your chosen house, area, school district, anticipated appreciation rate...anything!), he's super well respected and known in the area by other agents, an amazingly cool but strategic negotiator, is totally devoid of desperation for a sale/commission, and more.
Then once you get into contract phase, Donna literally handles every last and final detail in a concierge-like manner -- totally shielding you from the daily back and forth, noodling and annoyances of the buyer's requests. She solves it ALL; it's miraculous what that woman accomplishes over and above what is even expected in a buy/sell transaction.
On the sell side, Jim and Donna do the same, but even moreso. Donna in particular truly takes everything off your plate: she'll manage getting the house painted, the carpets replaced, she'll go on site (as she Jim both did for me when selling our rental properties) to work with the renters and make sure the house is ready to show -- freeing me to have to take time off of work to do so. They work with A+ integrity, too, so you know you are serving all parties fairly and lawfully throughout.
A home purchase/sale is the most considered you'll ever make. HIRE A SAVVY AGENT, not a friend!, and get what you need out of the transaction. Jim and Donna are our agents for life.
Jim and Donna Klinge are by far the most professional, personable and responsive realtors I have ever worked with. They provide VIP concierge level service in every area of the process of selling your home. My home was marketed so successfully that we received an offer the day after our first and only open house. Thanks to Jim's pricing and negotiating, our house is now the highest sold in our community. Jim's vast experience means he has worked with several realtors and knows the market all over north county. Donna is AMAZING in processing everything in the transaction. She scheduled trades people to work on the house in preparation for the sale as well as the repairs needed before closing. She communicated clearly every step of the way about what would be happening. She took the weight off my shoulders for the whole process. I will always use Jim and Donna for my future real estate needs and I whole heartedly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a home.
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. As a first time home buyer I had no idea what the process would entail, but Donna curtailed every concern I came across and made the escrow process feel seamless. Jim and Donna provided me the best home buying experience, and I am very grateful for all they did for me. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jim and Donna and I am already looking forward to the next time we work together!
Review for Member: Richard Morgan
Richard is an amazing realtor! He has high integrity and genuinely cares about his clients and their needs. Richard paid close attention to what I was seeking in a home and was very patient in our search to find it. I would highly recommend Richard and will use him for future transactions. Truly a different kind of realtor experience!
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge!