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San Diego Case-Shiller Index, March

The local Case-Shiller Index for March had the biggest monthly increase in 2+ years, and helps to show why we are getting back to a healthy market quickly. March is usually a strong month though:

San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:

Observation Month
SD CSI
M-o-M chg
Y-o-Y chg
January ’18
248.16
+0.8%
+7.3%
Feb
250.91
+1.1%
+7.5%
Mar
253.41
+1.0%
+7.6%
April
255.63
+0.9%
+7.7%
May
257.07
+0.6%
+7.3%
Jun
258.44
+0.6%
+6.9%
Jul
258.49
0.0%
+6.2%
Aug
257.32
-0.5%
+4.7%
Sept
256.13
-0.4%
+3.9%
Oct
255.26
-0.1%
+3.7%
Nov
253.37
-0.6%
+3.3%
Dec
251.68
-0.7%
+2.3%
January ’19
251.30
-0.2%
+1.3%
Feb
253.69
+0.9%
+1.1%
Mar
256.40
+1.1%
+1.2%
Apr
257.63
+0.5%
+0.8%
May
260.08
+1.0%
+1.1%
June
261.90
+0.7%
+1.3%
July
263.66
+0.7%
+2.0%
Aug
263.23
-0.2%
+2.3%
Sep
263.26
0%
+2.8%
Oct
262.56
-0.2%
+2.7%
Nov
263.18
+0.2%
+3.9%
Dec
263.51
+0.1%
+4.7%
Jan ’20
264.04
+0.2%
+5.1%
Feb
265.34
+0.5%
+4.6%
Mar
269.63
+1.6%
+5.2%

From cnbc:

The strength in March prices came even as mortgage rates bumped sharply higher during the month. That should have given homebuyers less purchasing power. Rates began falling precipitously after that and hit a new record low late this month.

“As states are cautiously reopening business activity and people are looking at summer plans in a new light, the reality of 25 million unemployed Americans is casting looming clouds over the horizon,” said George Ratiu, senior economist at realtor.com.” For homebuyers, low availability coupled with still-rising prices are overshadowing the benefit of historically low mortgage rates.”

The March numbers should be taken with a grain of salt since they are 2 months old and are calculated using a three-month running average.

“Housing prices have not yet registered any adverse effects from the governmental suppression of economic activity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lazzara said. “As much of the U.S. economy remained shuttered in April, next month’s data may show a more noticeable impact.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/26/coronavirus-home-prices-gained-strength-in-march-sp-case-shiller-says.html

Inventory Watch – Spring Start Over

We are back to having a similar number of California showings as we had in the first week of March!

It looks like we will jam the usual six-month-long selling season into just four – May through August – but only if there is enough to sell. The showings leveled off recently, and it might be because buyers have seen everything there is to see. But the total number of new actives did surge higher, but that might only mean you have 1-2 more to look at:

The 121 new listings this week is the most since we had 122 on March 11, 2019 –  yet we’re still 200+ listings behind where we were a year ago. The new pendings had a big week too with an increase of 57% over last week’s count:

Mortgage rates hit their all-time low this week, so it’s all blue sky ahead!

Weekly NSDCC New Listings and New Pendings

Week
New Listings
New Pendings
Total Pendings
Mar 16
83
55
329
Mar 23
59
31
289
Mar 30
63
31
251
Apr 6
57
21
219
Apr 13
48
17
194
Apr 20
63
29
192
Apr 27
79
40
205
May 4
86
40
208
May 11
91
48
226
May 18
95
44
224
May 25
121
69
266

Statistically, we are cranking!

(more…)

For the Fallen

Memorial Day – a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.

Join the local livestream tribute beginning at 9:00am Monday of four events at San Diego’s most iconic locations including Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, Mt. Soledad National Memorial, Miramar National Cemetery, and the USS Midway Museum:

https://www.midway.org/memorialdaylive/

ADU State and Local Law

We’ve been long-time supporters of the Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans’ liberties when threatened by government overreach and abuse. My brother worked there after he and the PLF Executive Vice President, John Groen went to school at Claremont Men’s College (the three of us played on the rugby team for two seasons!).  Our good friend Larry Salzman is their director of litigation, and I appreciate him passing along the latest links to the ADU laws below.

AB68 is the state law that overrides local building and zoning codes, requiring ADUs to be permitted throughout the state subject to various conditions about health, safety, and nuisance.  It allows for one attached, and one detached ADU be added to every SFR property. Here is the law:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB68 

The was augmented last year by AB 670, which prohibits homeowner’s associations from unreasonably withholding their permission to allow their members to develop ADUs in HOA-run communities.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB670 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PLF just petitioned this case to the California Supreme Court, asking it to decide whether all power to restrict ADUs is preempted by state law or whether local governments retain some discretion to deny the permit applications that meet state law standards.

The city of San Marino adopted building code restrictions that forbid homeowner Cordelia Donnelly from adding an ADU over her garage. Because state law dealing with ADUs fully preempts local restrictions, Cordelia has asked the California Supreme Court to recognize her right to create more housing. Story here:

https://pacificlegal.org/case/donnelly-v-city-of-san-marino/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Larry has also found a ADU builder he likes who has just opened a local office:

https://www.gjgardner.com/orange-county-home-builders/granny-flats.aspx

ADU As Investment Property

A two-year-old, Culver City, California-based startup called United Dwelling aims to tackle the affordable housing problem using data, creativity, and underutilized garages and backyards.

United Dwelling plans to eventually build thousands of Accessory Dwelling Units, which are basically 369-square-foot studio homes. The company said its units benefit homeowners who are looking for ways to supplement their income as well as tenants looking for low-cost housing options.

United Dwelling uses data to identify potential lots that would be suitable for its units. It targets mostly low-and middle-income neighborhoods, with some exceptions for workforce housing. The company at first was going to just remodel garages but discovered quickly it’s much easier to tear down old ones and start fresh. So that’s what it does. It replaces those garages with small, affordable and zero net carbon homes in low-density neighborhoods with no out-of-pocket costs to property owners.

It then sets a rental price for the newly built unit and manages the property on the homeowner’s behalf, keeping a share of the rental income. Upon completion of construction, United Dwelling gives the homeowner the option to buy the unit back from the company for just under $88,000. To keep the costs of construction down, United Dwelling aims to build at least five units within a two-mile radius in the same time frame. Its initial focus is on the Los Angeles region with plans to eventually expand to the Bay Area and other locations once its solidifies its process, according to Dietz.

Specifically, the company plans to build over 150 of its detached studio homes in Southern California in 2020 and over 1,500 in 2021 (assuming construction can continue moving forward as an essential function per Los Angeles COVID-19 policy).

“Affordable housing is one of the most daunting challenges facing California and other parts of the county that is both entirely man-made and completely solvable,” Dietz said. “Here, we can do something that’s incredibly relevant. The opportunity is truly immense. Affordable housing is pretty easy. All you need is inexpensive land and construction, and capital.”

Link to Article

Top Gun House Moved

They finally moved it!  Hat tip Bode

The Victorian cottage in Oceanside featured in the popular 1986 movie “Top Gun” was moved to a permanent new home at the Oceanside Beach Resort on Thursday.

Built in 1887 by Dr. Henry Graves, the home is one of the few “folk Victorian-style” homes in San Diego County. It featured in the movie as the oceanfront residence of Tom Cruise’s co-star Kelly McGillis.

S.D. Malkin Properties, which broke ground for the 384-room Oceanside Beach Resort in 2019, is spending nearly $1 million to relocate and restore the well-known cottage.

“By restoring this iconic house and having it as a key feature at the new Oceanside Beach Resort, we celebrate the future of Oceanside by referencing the past and preserving its history,” said Jeremy Cohen, director of S.D. Malkin Properties.

The house was moved from its original site after groundbreaking to allow construction of the resort, which is the largest oceanfront development in San Diego County in the past decade. Since then, the house has undergone extensive restoration, including structural improvements and cosmetic detailing.

Leslee Gaul, president and CEO of Visit Oceanside, said the home “has been a draw for visitors all over the world, so we couldn’t be more thrilled to have it restored and once again accessible to the public.”

Situated on 600 feet of beachfront at Mission Avenue and North Pacific Street, the Oceanside Beach Resort is set to open in the spring of 2021.

Link to Article

Top 30 Markets Affected

We are #24 on the Top 30 markets to be affected by the coronavirus, which is pretty far down the list – and we’re still relatively affordable when compared to other higher-end areas.

For those who are thinking of moving to a more affordable area and aren’t affected by the statistics, here are my favorites that still have a 2020 median SP under $300,000, in order of how they rank on the list:

Las Vegas – $283,000 (1st)

Miami – $275,900 (5th)

Orlando – $245,000 (6th)

Ft Myers – $235,000 (8th)

Fresno – $265,000 (12th)

Lakeland FL – $193,000 (13th)

Memphis – $145,000 (21st)

Jacksonville – $210,000 (25th)

Daytona Beach – $202,000 (26th)

Phoenix – $288,000 (28th)

And their surrounding suburbs might be an even greater value!

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/05/20/cities-on-the-verge-of-a-covid-driven-housing-crisis/111782790/

Move to the Suburbs?

At least this was based on a survey, rather than ivory-tower speculation:

Where people choose to live has traditionally been tied to where they work, a dynamic that through the past decade spurred extreme home value growth and an affordability crisis in coastal job centers. But the post-pandemic recovery could mitigate or even produce the opposite effect and drive a boom in secondary cities and exurbs, prompted not by a fear of density but by a seismic shift toward remote work.

Now that more than half of employed Americans (56%) have had the opportunity to work from home, a vast majority want to continue, at least occasionally.  A new survey from Zillow, conducted by The Harris Poll, finds 75 percent of Americans working from home due to COVID-19 say they would prefer to continue that at least half the time, if given the option, after the pandemic subsides.

Two-thirds of employees working from home due to COVID-19 (66%) would be at least somewhat likely to consider moving if they had the flexibility to work from home as often as they want.  Only 24 percent of Americans overall say they thought about moving as a result of spending more time at home due to social distancing recommendations.

Many employed Americans are trying to square the desire to work remotely with the functionality and size of their existing homes.  Among employees who would be likely to consider moving, If given the flexibility to work from home when they want, nearly one-third say they would consider moving in order to live in a home with a dedicated office space (31%), to live in a larger home (30%), and to live in a home with more rooms (29%).

A Zillow analysis finds 46 percent of current households have a spare bedroom that could be used as an office.  But that percentage drops off by more than 10 points in dense, expensive metros such as Los AngelesNew YorkSan JoseSan Francisco and San Diego, where far fewer homes have spare rooms.

When it comes time to move, home shoppers who can work remotely may seek out more space — both indoor and outdoor — farther outside city limits, where they can find larger homes within their budget.

“Moving away from the central core has traditionally offered affordability at the cost of your time and gas money. Relaxing those costs by working remotely could mean more households choose those larger homes farther out, easing price pressure on urban and inner suburban areas,” said Zillow senior principal economist, Skylar Olsen. “However, that means they’d also be moving farther from a wider variety of restaurants, shops, yoga studios and art galleries. Given the value many place on access to such amenities, we’re not talking about the rise of the rural homesteader on a large scale. Future growth under broader remote work would still favor suburban communities or secondary cities that offer those amenities along with more spacious homes and larger lots.”

Zillow Premier Agents from Silicon Valley to Manhattan say anecdotally, they’re seeing the early beginnings of a shift.

“We are seeing more buyers looking to leave the city,” said Bic DeCaro, a member of Zillow’s Agent Advisory Board serving Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia.  “Buyers, who just a few months ago were looking for walkability, are now looking for extra land to go along with more square footage.”

Keith Taylor Andrews, a small business owner in Denver, started home shopping on Zillow the week Colorado issued a stay-home order.  The first-time homebuyer is now under contract on a house in Fayetteville, Arkansas that he plans to use as his home office.

“We learned from COVID-19 that we could operate our business remotely,” said Andrews, who has 40 employees working from home. “Arkansas is a good place to move, it’s economical and there are far fewer people.  It feels like a breath of fresh air to get out of the city.”

http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2020-05-13-A-Rise-in-Remote-Work-Could-Lead-to-a-New-Suburban-Boom

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