The boomer sales spree is inevitable, it’s just a matter of when. But if it’s a slow methodical process over the next two decades, will we even notice? Let’s say the 100,112 homes turn over in the next 25 years (and only 1/3 are inherited by the kids), we’d average 223 more sales per month. There were 3,827 residential sales in the county in September. Results may vary!
Homeownership has long been considered part of the American dream. But first-time homebuyers — especially millennials and Gen Xers — are facing an uphill battle when it comes to house hunting.
This is in part because of a growing trend in which baby boomers, the generation that owns the largest share of American homes, are planning to stay put. In fact, a 2018 survey conducted by AARP found that 76 percent of Americans over the age of 50 would prefer to remain in their current home — rather than move in with family, to a nursing home, or to an assisted living facility. That is leading to less inventory for new buyers.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the share of homeowners over the age of 55 has been steadily increasing. In 2008, at the onset of the Great Recession, Americans over the age of 55 owned 44.3 percent of homes. By 2019, that percentage had increased to 53.8 percent. While the share of homeowners under the age of 35 remained fairly steady within the same time span, the share of homeowners between the ages of 35 and 54 decreased from 42.3 percent to 34.1 percent.
While baby boomers — defined here as Americans between the ages of 55 and 74 — comprise just over 22 percent of the U.S. population, they account for nearly 42 percent of homeowners nationwide.
Of the places benefiting from the people fleeing California, Phoenix has to be #1 on the list. Their Case-Shiller Index had the biggest increase in the nation this week (+9.9%), and look at the average market time:
PHOENIX — The greater Phoenix housing market has already returned to pre-pandemic levels and could be on track for a record October in total homes sold, according to Valley housing analyst Tina Tamboer with The Cromford Report.
“The pandemic may as well have been a decade ago now,” she told ABC15.
“We soared in contract activity between May and June and [that activity] stayed relatively high,” Tamboer said, adding that the increase coincided with the state beginning to ease COVID-19 restrictions on businesses.
In April, Tamboer said the median time for a Valley home to move under contract was 21 days. Today, that time frame is less than eight days. October is also on track to see 30% more Valley homes sold than a “normal” year. She said typical factors that could delay a home purchase — like vacation plans and children returning to school — have been impacted.
Even as home prices rise, the CARES Act could allow potential homebuyers to access their savings early — from a 401k account, for example — without penalty. Mortgage rates have also set record lows, which could offset any increase in total home price when calculating a monthly payment.
While we’re at it, let’s also mention the CARES Act benefits, which may not help many homebuyers in San Diego but could keep homeowners afloat who have lost jobs:
In response to our massive economic downturn and sudden unemployment affecting 30 million-plus Americans, Congress passed new legislation in March to make it easier to access your retirement savings.
To that point, an individual can now take a withdrawal of up to $100,000 from eligible retirement plans, including 401(k) plans and IRAs, without the 10% penalty applying.
Additionally, the IRS recently released guidance broadening the number of people who can take coronavirus-related distributions from 401(k) plans and IRAs. For example, if your spouse has lost his or her job due to coronavirus or had a job offer rescinded due to the pandemic, you can take up to $100,000 from your own retirement account.
These coronavirus-related distributions are only available in 2020, so it’s a consideration that would need to be taken over the next six months as the legislation stands today. Note that while the 10% penalty has been temporarily waived, the tax liability on the distribution has not. The good news is you will have up to three years to pay the tax liability on the amount of your distribution, which is designed to ease what might look to be a major tax hit.
So what’s your take on the strength of the housing market now and how the election could change it?
BARBARA CORCORAN: I don’t think the election is going to have much to do with the housing market. It’s like a horse that’s run out of the bar– the barn at about 100 miles an hour, and there’s no stopping it. Of course, it’s on an even market. The suburban areas, the wealthier vacation areas, the country areas are all skyrocketing with the shortage of listings and prices going up far beyond what’s reported. Because you have to realize, when price increases are reported by any organization, it’s based on closings, not on deals that were just made, which are always made three months in advance.
So I think the housing market is exploding well beyond what’s being reported, and I think that’s going to come out in the next couple of months. But so far as how the election will affect it, it’s amazing. It’s almost like the strength is beyond the election that nobody’s paying attention.
For every two buyers, there’s one house to be had. So there’s an extreme slanted market with a shortage of inventory. The housing market is so hot, I almost feel like I should apologize for it. It’s not even my market, OK?
But the housing market is so strong right now, we’re not going to make up for this lost time for a lot of months to be coming up, and prices are going to price out all the starter homes, of course, as time goes on. But every other market is going to be going like hotcakes. And you can count on it for the next three to six months easily. There’s too much pent up demand. There’s too short a supply, and it’s going to take a while to even that score out.
There was additional distribution of my moving survey after the previous report last week.
Of the 2,872 visitors who have looked at the survey, 130 (or about 5%), at least answered a question, which is typical. Here are the final results:
Q1. I liked that 28% of the respondents live outside of San Diego County. Thanks for playing!
Q2. Most people aren’t planning to move (70.34%). But of those who are planning to move, MORE THAN ONE-THIRD ARE LEAVING CALIFORNIA!
Q4. The traditional April-Sept time frame was preferred by 60% of those planning to move. But 23% of those who are moving next year will jump right on it in the first quarter.
Q5. The pandemic didn’t cause 92% to move, mostly because Covid-19 is temporary, and moving is permanent. People might think about moving because of Covid-19, but the pandemic won’t drive the truck up to the house.
Q6. The answer of ‘Getting My Price’ bumped up nicely from its last-place finish previously. Going Through My Stuff is still a big concern, but Finding Next Home is #1, and rightfully so.
Here are some of the anonymous comments left – thank you for the warm thoughts!
Jim, so sorry I’m late to the survey. I appreciated the results you’ve already shared. I own two properties in OC, (reside in one, rent one) and have been a home owner for 15+ years. I have read your blog for 10+ years, but only check it weekly, rather than daily. I enjoy your video tours, thoughts on home layout and thoughts on how to help increase the value of one’s home. I like learning about the SD area and market through your blog. FYI, the biggest thing keeping my family in CA is our three school-aged children and an older parent who is nearby and will eventually need help. It’s hard to uproot. My own parents, lifelong Californians, retired and left for Arizona two years ago and are very happy. Last year, my husband’s job offered to relocated us to Utah. We seriously considered leaving, but eventually declined and he found another job internally at the same company so that we could stay where we are. When we thought of the pros and cons, we would very much miss the CA weather and strong ties to our community. We are thankful to live in a proudly red city in OC. We are not happy with the direction CA as a state is headed, but will stay for the sake of our kids and the sunshine. Thanks for your blog. I enjoy your expertise and also your levity!
People may be moving because of covid but what I have found more of is people wanting to move because they are trying to get away from far left liberal policies in Cali.
We love Jim & Donna who helped us buy our first home together.
Jim Klinge is an awesome realtor. We love his videos and he’s spot on when looking at local real estate trends. Jim is great to work with and we have already recommended him to our friends.
Best lock pick ever.
You and Donna are the best. Stay healthy so if we decide to sell decades from now we can depend on you!
What a difference compared to the second half of 2019:
San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:
Last month I said, “Will the September & October indices hit 2.0%? Likely!”
“A trend of accelerating increases in the National Composite Index began in August 2019 but was interrupted in May and June, as Covid-related restrictions produced modestly-decelerating price gains,” said Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of Index Investment Strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
“The last time that the National Composite matched August’s 5.7% growth rate was 25 months ago, in July 2018. If future reports continue in this vein, we may soon be able to conclude that the Covid-related deceleration is behind us. ”
Phoenix, Seattle and San Diego reported the highest annual gains among the 19 cities (excluding Detroit) in August. Phoenix led the way with a 9.9% price increase, followed by Seattle with an 8.5% increase and San Diego with a 7.6% increase.
Chicago, New York City and San Francisco saw the smallest annual home price gains in August.
S&P Case-Shiller is a repeat sales index, running on a three-month average; it measures the sale prices of similar homes over time. Other home price indexes, like the measure from the National Association of Realtors, show much higher price gains because they calculate the median price of all homes sold during the month.
Since there is currently much more sales activity on the higher end of the market, where there is more supply available, that is skewing the median price much higher. The Realtors reported a 15% annual price gain for September.
Prices are being fueled not just by strong demand but by record low mortgage rates. Rates set several new records over the summer and continued to do so in September as well. Low mortgage rates give buyers more purchasing power, allowing sellers to raise prices.
In the graph above, the conditions were glutty through July, but now I think we can call it a full-blown panic in SF County. They only had 1,000 homes for sale in May, and their fourth-quarter history already looks very strange. You can bet that buyers are slamming on the brakes!
Any glut-like conditions are easy to identify – as soon as active listings start stacking up, then either prices are too high or we’re running out of buyers.
Thankfully, our NSDCC graphs look the opposite of this one so we’re in good shape, for now.
We only had 65 new SFR listings between La Jolla and Carlsbad over the last seven days, which is an 18% drop from the previous week and the lowest count since the beginning of the pandemic. The demand is still hot – there were 85 new pendings – but if the inventory count does what it’s done in previous years, it will really fall off the next couple of months (see top graph).
But who knows – this is 2020!
We have three offers on our $1,195,000 listing in Vista, and should determine a winner today. The Big Question – do you take a full price cash offer that is contingent upon selling another home? Given how hot the market is, it’s worth considering!