San Diego Case-Shiller Index, August

Lower volume could keep the index elevated. We had 382 sales last October, and today we’re at 189 for the month with four days to go plus late-reporters. We should end up with about the same as in 2019 (240).

San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes

Observation Month
M-o-M chg
Y-o-Y chg
Jan ’20
Jan ’21

“Persistently strong demand among traditional homebuyers has been amplified by an increase in demand among investors this summer,” said Selma Hepp, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. “While strong home price appreciation rates are narrowing the pool of buyers, particularly first-time buyers, the depth of the supply and demand imbalance and robust demand among higher-income earners will continue to push prices higher.”

Bidding War! Part 3 – Auction

You say ‘full transparency’ and blah, blah, Jim – what do you mean?  What happened? Give us the dets!!

We received two cash offers during the open house on Saturday, one from the first people who saw it on Friday, and the other from a buyer who attended the open house – which was a quick turnaround because I told her that we already had a cash offer.

Each buyer had their own agent, and the terms were similar.  It was going to come down to price.

They are called ‘bidding wars’ in this business, but the way the vast majority of agents handle them, it’s really just a collection of offers.  The listing agent might use a spreadsheet to organize them, but in the end, they are presented to the sellers who then just picks a winner – usually after the listing agent chimes in with their preference.

It’s not right that the listing agents get to play God and decide the outcome.  I want the market to decide it, because that’s what is fair to all buyers, all buyer-agents, and especially the sellers.

Plus, I don’t want to delay the outcome for hours or days and risk that the buyers might cool off – which is what usually happens as listing agents let days go by after their first offer is received, thinking it might get better, later.

I started my bidding war as soon as I got in my car to leave the open house.

I called the agent for the first buyer and told him he’d been outbid, THEN I TOLD HIM BY HOW MUCH, and asked if he wanted to go higher.

He called back in ten minutes with his new bid.

I went back to the agent for the second buyer and told her that SHE HAD BEEN OUTBID BY X AMOUNT, and asked if they wanted to improve their offer.

My slow-motion auction lasted until one of the buyers ran out of gas about 90 minutes later.

It worked great, and maybe even better than a live auction because bidders don’t feel rushed to make an instant decision.  They were able to confer with their agent and make a deliberate new bid.

Both buyers had a fair and clear chance to purchase the home, which is missing with the Offer Collection method. When listing agents just pick their favorite offer, instead of requesting higher bids, it leaves money on the table and it makes the remaining buyers wonder what happened – most of which would have made a better offer, if they were only given the chance.

Get Good Help!


Inventory Watch

Buyers are increasingly disinterested in the current inventory, and the lack of new listings is making it worse – which is tempting buyers to pack it in for the holidays.

There have only been 163 new NSDCC listings this month – last October we had 400.



Bidding War! Part 2

The seller of our new listing in Encinitas Ranch has been discussing a move for six months.  He contributed his decision to sell now primarily to what he read here on the blog.

Specifically, that what appears to be a frenzy slowdown is NOT reflective of the market normalizing – instead, it’s due to just the opposite; a continuing decline of inventory.

What’s my #1 tip for sellers? Sell when everyone else isn’t!

The Encinitas market is starved for higher-end luxury homes, especially those sexy, turn-key ready homes that can be occupied within 30 days (a dearth made worse by most listing agents demanding 60-days free rent after closing for their sellers).

We thought if we went on the market in October and appeal to the buyers who wanted to close and occupy by Thanksgiving, we’d have a special niche all to ourselves.

But we had work to do to maximize the appeal, so we spent the last two months and $50,000 to get the home in tip-top condition. By yesterday, it was perfect – thank you Donna!

What happened next wasn’t luck or happenstance.

It was a planned strategy to maximize the opportunity for buyers to not only purchase a home yesterday, but to also have the process be a fair and clear competition utilizing full transparency. I made sure that everyone knew the rules of engagement, and how to win.

Today, I get to go back in the jungle.

We made a cash offer with different clients yesterday who are hoping to buy a home in Carlsbad, and got the usual routine. Agent doesn’t answer his phone, doesn’t call back, doesn’t acknowledge receipt of the offer until today and leaves a cryptic email suggesting that he might have multiple offers but no other game plan on how the winner will be determined. You know, the normal way agents handle their business.

Full transparency is the best way to achieve top dollar, and you can only find it here!

New Listing Update

Our new listing has been on the MLS for 24 hours, and the Zillow views and saves are solid. With people using Zillow for their house porn, you can’t put too much stock into the views – but the saves should be those who have more than a casual interest, hopefully!

The zestimate hasn’t changed yet, but Redfin bumped their estimate by $488,339 from the previous day:

Wednesday, October 20:

Thursday, October 21st:

SD North County, September

Thanks go out to Jerry Ryan, who publishes a monthly newsletter out of the goodness in his heart – giving us another look at the local stats.

He circled in red (above) and I added a red arrow below that show how the inventory has been so different this year – and it really dropped off in September.  Yet sales are actually higher, YTD.

I love his sparkbars too!


Previously, it might have been possible to have a month or two where the SP:LP ratio would be close to 100%.  But in 2021, we might have the ratio be over 100% for the entire year!

We had a surge in sales at the end of 2012 and 2020, and both were followed by incredible frenzy conditions the next year. Are we setting up for a big 2022? Here is the latest report on the national picture:


Jim’s Podcast

Natalie (who is doing a stellar job as marketing director!) suggested that some people might want to hear thoughts on the market conditions in a longer podcast-type format, so here’s my six minutes:

The real estate business is fast moving and sellers and buyers are making snap decisions. You want an adviser who knows the market and can deliver advice extemporaneously!

U2 Mick Fergie

The greatest rock’n’roll band in the world was in town this week, and played two shows at SoFi Stadium. Their entire show was uploaded today at this LINK.

But they seem like prancing 80-year-olds to me. This is better, thanks to Fergie – recorded at Madison Square Garden, October 30th 2009 at the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert:

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