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Compass at One Paseo

Compass has opened the regional headquarters at the multi-use One Paseo in Carmel Valley.

“The move for Compass to One Paseo was an easy decision,” said Shana Pereira, San Diego general manager of Compass.

“What One Paseo represents in holding onto the community feel of Carmel Valley, but bringing a futuristic and modern vibe, is synonymous to what Compass stands for — being a full-service real estate brokerage and fostering our real estate agents’ businesses, while embracing the modern advancement of technology with the goal of making their lives easier,” Pereira said. “We hope that the move of basing our regional HQ (headquarters) at One Paseo shows our commitment to San Diego and the people that live here.”

She said Compass expects to have more than 100 agents in the One Paseo offices.

Here’s my brief tour of One Paseo:

We had the all-Compass virtual meeting yesterday where is was noted that the brokerage has made record income for five months in a row, and was profitable in 3Q20. Another 300 support people have been hired in the last three months, with another 200-300 expected to be hired by the end of the year.  No mention of the IPO yet, but it has to be in the works.

HMI Record

For the third straight month the level of builder confidence in the new home market set a record high. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said the Housing Market Index (HMI) it co-sponsors with Wells Fargo soared 5 points in November to 90. This is the highest level in the 35-year history of the HMI which set records of 83 in September and 85 in October. These are the only times in its history that the Index surpassed the 80-point level and is triple its level in April when the pandemic caused it to plunge.

NAHB cautioned, however, that 69 percent of the survey responses were received before the results of the presidential election were called on Nov. 7. The election results and their future impacts on housing market conditions, will be more fully reflected in December’s HMI report.

Robert Dietz, NAHB chief economist, said that builder confidence has soared because historically low mortgage rates, favorable demographics, and an ongoing buyer preference for the suburbs have spurred demand and raised new home sales by nearly 17 percent year-over-year. He added, “Though builders continue to sign sales contracts at a solid pace, lot and material availability is holding back some building activity. Looking ahead to next year, regulatory policy risk will be a key concern given these supply-side constraints.

Regional scores are presented as three-month moving averages. The Northeast increased two points to 83, the Midwest jumped six points to 80, the South and West each rose four points to 86 and 94, respectively.

http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/11172020_nahb_builder_confidence.asp

Thanksgiving Meals

Thanksgiving will be looking different this year but rest assured, restaurants are still gearing up to make turkey day a delicious holiday. Choices include take-away meals, including one with a special chef collaboration, or options for dining on the premises with additional safety precautions. Advance reservations are required regardless of whether you’ll be ordering to eat at home or eating out so plan accordingly.

Here are options up and down the coast:

https://sandiego.eater.com/maps/thanksgiving-restaurant-options-for-dine-in-or-takeout-in-san-diego

Political Exodus

Anyone surprised to hear there are agents soliciting consumers based on their political beliefs?

At first, Stephanie Morris was nervous about leaving Modesto. She’d lived in the Central Valley her whole life, but her family couldn’t keep paying $850-a-month for her sons to share a living room while she, her husband and the baby slept in their apartment’s only bedroom.

The anxiety faded by the time her family pulled out in a U-Haul bound for Salt Lake City on a smoky September night. Morris, 31, had still never been to Utah — her husband liked it when he worked there as a truck driver — but she had discovered a whole world of people planning similar escapes online. They posted faraway landscapes on Pinterest, smiling family photos on Instagram and memes about leaving “Commiefornia” in Facebook groups like “Conservatives Leaving California.”

“I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not moving out of California to a third-world country,” Morris said. “I’m leaving a third-world country to join America.”

Unaffordable housing. High taxes. A Democratic stranglehold on state politics. The concerns driving transplants like Morris out of the country’s richest state during the COVID-19 era are not new. What is changing quickly is how disillusioned California residents are coming together by the tens of thousands on Facebook, YouTube and elsewhere online, fueling a cottage industry of real estate agents, mortgage lenders and political advocates stoking social division to compete for a piece of the muchdiscussed California Exodus.

Facebook groups like “Life After California” are full of stories about $4,000 U-Haul bills and home bidding wars in Texas, but it’s too early to tell if more people are leaving during the pandemic. People move for all kinds of reasons — a new job, to be near family, to buy their first house — and while many online moving groups target conservatives, a parallel migration of more liberal transplants has also scrambled the politics of some red states.

Early polls show that up to 40% of Bay Area tech workers will consider leaving if remote work continues. Recent tax proposals have also triggered familiar warnings about wealthy residents fleeing the state.

Even before COVID-19, California’s population growth had slowed considerably. Since 2015, the state has lost at least 100,000 more people than it gained each year from other U.S. states, including growing numbers of working class and Black residents. But California is still a top U.S. destination for people moving from other countries, plus affluent transplants from other states. From July 2018 to July 2019, California saw a net loss of 197,594 people to other states.

Scott Shepard has watched these forces collide from his new home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The California-bred realtor started relocation website ExitCalifornia.org and a namesake Facebook page early last year, when he saw a business opportunity in the endless stories of friends and neighbors moving out of state. Now, during the pandemic, the site is so busy he doesn’t have to pay for online ads.

“It’s starting to kind of take on a life of its own,” Shepard said. “I would be straight and say that it is primarily political. Then it really does come down to the cost and taxes.”

The anti-California Dream

Exit California is emblematic of a growing number of online relocation companies marketed heavily on social media. They target prospective transplants who skew white, right and over age 30, though renters post alongside members in the market for million-dollar houses. Between photos of tidy brick facades, crystal-clear pools and recommended moving truck routes, the Facebook pages revolve around ominous articles about Black Lives Matter protests, crime, immigration and, of late, pandemic shutdowns.

Prospective movers who click through to the website can pick a state — Arizona, Idaho, Tennessee, Texas — and see financial incentives to use selected realtors, mortgage lenders or other service providers. Beyond the mechanics of buying a house, the online groups are a platform for places to pitch fed-up Californians who don’t know where to start.

“There’s a fair percentage of them that don’t know where they wanna go,” said Scott Fuller, an Arizona transplant and real estate investor who started LeavingTheBayArea.com and LeavingSoCal.com three years ago. “They just know they want to go somewhere else.”

That’s not surprising to Bill Bishop, author of “The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart.” He’s studied how over the past several decades, neighborhoods across the country have become increasingly politically homogeneous. Where people choose to live has become “a stage,” he said, to flaunt their values as old anchors like a one-company career fade into a blur of unstable jobs, anxiety and dwindling time with family and friends.

“What they’re doing is selling a way of life that then corresponds to political choice,” Bishop said. “It’s kind of pathetic, actually, but what the hell?”

Playing politics

It’s not just real estate agents using social media to reach jaded Californians. Sometimes, the California Exodus content is bankrolled by people in high places.

Take the YouTube video “Fleeing California,” which has racked up 2 million views since it was posted in March. It starts with sweeping L.A. views of palm trees and Spanish-tile roofs, then fades to a grainy montage of sidewalk tent cities and a person being pushed in front of an oncoming truck. A moment later, in Texas, viewers see happy kids getting off a school bus and a golden retriever bounding down a jungle gym while Republican Sen. Ted Cruz talks in the background.

The video was made by PragerU, a conservative digital media nonprofit that produces other titles like “Make Men Masculine Again” and “Dangerous People Are Teaching Your Kids.” The California video was commissioned by a donor, producer Will Witt said: Texas ranching and oil scion Windi Grimes, a board director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and member of Trumpettes USA, a women’s group formed in Beverly Hills five years ago to boost President Trump as the country’s “savior.”

How many people are persuaded to pack up and move by similar videos, social media content or Joe Rogan’s recent podcasts on moving to Texas could help shuffle the country’s electoral map at a pivotal moment. Some of California’s last Republican strongholds, like Orange County, are seeing their residents decamp for other states — a net loss of nearly 25,000 people last year alone — along with notoriously liberal urban areas like L.A., which posted a net loss of more than 97,800 people.

The anti-California political spectacle playing out online has become a hobby for 30-year-old Texas country singer Charley Austin, who started the “Conservatives Leaving California” Facebook group last year. Some members post memes warning newcomers “Don’t California My Texas.” But Austin, who says he has campaigned for Trump, sees an opportunity to keep the state red as cities like Austin (“the San Francisco of Texas,” he said) go farther left.

“There’s nothing really we can do to stop people moving here,” Austin said. “The best thing you can do is help people that move here get acclimated to the state.”

More stories here:

https://calmatters.org/economy/2020/09/anti-california-dream-moving-industry/

Inventory Watch

In six out of the last seven weeks, we’ve had more new pendings than new listings!

But the total number of pendings dropped by 8% this week, and though it would be natural to assume that the market should cool off for the rest of the year, it’s 2020!  All we need is more listings. Last year we had 163 listings hit the market between Nov 1-15, and this year we’ve had 119 so far.

Last year at this time, we had 291 pendings. Today’s count is 424, which is 46% higher!

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Moving Scams

The more-affluent folks moving to California don’t U-haul. 

Record numbers of residents have been leaving California in recent years, but in 2020 the growth of remote work, the lure of cheaper housing and a summer of unprecedented wildfires has accelerated the trend. As a result, the moving business in San Francisco’s Bay Area is booming, but the surge has come with its own set of problems.

Moving trucks are hard to find, prices to get out of the Bay are being pushed sky-high, and the supply side of the market – with high starting costs and because movers are required to obtain state licenses – has been slow to respond.

The shortage has created openings for an underground moving economy complete with scammers who take advantage of desperate California escapees, left without easy options.

Moving companies across the Bay have said they were booked up months in advance through the summer. It continued through the autumn – in typical years, the industry sees a lull after kids start school. A spokesperson at Gentle Giant moving company says it performed three times the number of moves out of San Francisco in September 2020 than a year earlier.

Even at U-Haul stores – the rental truck retailer with the largest fleet across the US – trucks are in short supply. With so many trucks departing the Bay Area, the exodus has left an imbalance of returning vehicles. The shortage has sharply driven up truck prices for one-way trips out of town.

“Two households are moving out of California for every one moving in,” says Mark Perry, a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan who has been studying the US migration market over the past few years. “U-Haul is pricing it based on the imbalance they see and they now have a shortage of trucks in San Francisco.”

U-Haul changes truck prices regularly, but Perry has noted the pattern over time. Checking online recently, he noted that trucks going from Phoenix to San Francisco were only $311, but going the other direction it cost $2,500 – roughly eight times more. He checked cities in other top destinations for Californians, including Texas, Washington and Nevada, and found all outbound rates to be exponentially higher than inbound ones.

The high demand and high prices have created perfect market conditions for exploitation. Scammers are cashing in.

“There are hold-hostage cases where a mover will take possession of the belongings after agreeing to a price with the consumer, and then they will not give the belongings back unless the consumer pays well over and above what the agreed-to price was,” says Yeaphana La Marr, the acting chief of the California bureau of household goods and services, which regulates the moving industry. “Some just take the belongings and they are never seen again by the people who contracted for a move.”

The agency is also trying to crack down on new movers who are entering the booming market without licensing or insurance required by the state. Legitimate movers fill out an application, pass a test, undergo a background check and put up a $500 filing fee to obtain a license, and they have to prove they have the necessary resources and coverage to operate.

“Unlicensed activity is a major problem in the household moving industry and it creates a lot of consumer harm,” says La Marr. It is an accident-prone industry and customers could find themselves on the hook if they unknowingly hire a mover that doesn’t have liability insurance or workers’ compensation.

The underground moving economy is hard to track, but La Marr says the bureau does investigations based on tips from the public or other agencies, including local law enforcement. The bureau has seen a 74% surge in consumer complaints about movers since last year. “We don’t know whether Covid is a contributor or there are other factors, such as increased knowledge of the bureau,” she adds, explaining that her agency only assumed administration of moving industry regulations in 2018.

When an unauthorized mover is caught, the state will work with them to get licensed but some offenders are hit with citations, fines and, in some cases, jail time.

“For the more egregious violators, we would do a [district attorney] referral and that would be tried criminally,” La Marr says, adding that violators can be charged up to $10,000 per move. “The penalties are really high. So it is shocking how large the underground economy is.”

Unlicensed movers also make things more difficult for legitimate movers, who are now competing with low-balled offers from less experienced workers and more flexible timelines.

Read full article here:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/15/leaving-california-exodus-move-out-movers

John Wagner, RIP

On Thursday, we lost another long-time member of the Klinge Realty family – John Wagner.

John grew up in Wisconsin, and was a die-hard Packers fan – he and his brothers would go to at least one Packers game together every year.  He was a helicopter pilot in the Marines, and served in Vietnam.  John had been visiting with his brothers in Arizona this week, and was driving back when he had a heart attack.

John worked with us from 2004 to 2011, and was an integral part of the team.

I’ll never forget the time when we were both lamenting about the state of our current business, and he suggested that we do Pizza Night – where we get together in the office and call everyone you know until you find some new business!  That night we grabbed a pizza, and started dialing.  We both came away with people who ended up buying a house!

He had the biggest heart of anyone, and there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do to help people – he genuinely cared about his clients.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lynda and family in this most-difficult time.

Cardiff Cream Puff

Check out my new listing at 1384 Evergreen Dr. in Cardiff-by-the-Sea!

1384 Evergreen

2br/1ba, 922sf

YB: 1974

LP = $609,000 – SOLD FOR $622,750!

We represented the sellers.

Tucked away in the very back of Park Place, this hidden jewel has new windows and slider, luxury vinyl plank flooring, practically new kitchen, and tiki lounge with spa! The HOA owns a 25-acre private park across the street with pool/spa, volleyball, baseball field, hiking trails and off-leash dog policy!





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