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January Inventory Mix

We can endure a slight and gradual reduction of inventory in the higher-end market, where there will always be hundreds of choices available and the number of buyers are limited, relatively. But the squeeze on the lower-end is getting worse:

NSDCC Total Number of Listings, Jan 1-21

Year
Total # of Listings
Under $1.5M
Over $1.5M
% Over $1.5M
2017
282
140
144
51%
2018
300
130
171
57%
2019
282
131
152
54%
2020
230
83
150
65%
2021
172
52
123
72%
2020 vs 2021 YoY diff
-25%
-37%
-18%
+11%

Not only has there only been 52 new listings priced under $1,500,000 in 2021, but today there are only 17 of them that are actively for sale. In an area with a population of 300,000+!

Chasing The Market

The term ‘chasing the market’ usually applies to sellers in a down market when they don’t lower their price fast enough to get ahead of the new listings coming on that are under-cutting them.

The reverse is also true about home buyers in a hot market.

Those in the hunt for weeks or months who have lost several bidding wars are watching each new listing get priced higher and higher, and their frustration mounts as they struggle to get ahead of the trend.  Some buyers can get priced out altogether, and others buck up and pay an exorbitant price just to end their misery and get on with life.

It just happened like that in La Costa Oaks.

I had two great comps nearby when when we priced our 7168 Sitio Corazon listing at $1,379,000, with the latest being right across the street.  Ours had the master suite downstairs, which isn’t as popular with families with young kids – and the 3,563sf plan has the master upstairs with the rest of the kids’ bedrooms.

It’s very unusual in the low-inventory era to have four sales within five months – especially this close together.  You can see what happens – they feed on each other, with the intensity building with each sale.

After my efficient and timely bidding war where I gave all contenders the chance to submit their highest-and-best offers, we ended up with three.  Two were $1,450,000, and the winner was a decisive $1,470,000 with no appraisal contingency and a 30-day rentback for my sellers.

Many of the buyers who saw my listing went across the street when 7177 Sitio Corazon hit the market a week later. I told the listing agent and the seven buyer-agents who contacted me that our sales price was $1,470,000, which helped feed the frenzy.  With it being the more desirable floor plan and full transparency about how hot the market is, buyers went crazy – and there were eight offers.

The buyers who won with an offer of $1,600,000 were one of my $1,450,000 offers.

They were tired of losing, apparently, and added enough mustard to clinch it – about 10% over list price, and more than 23% above a nearby model-match sale in August!

Get Good Help!

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New Radicals

Donna first met Jade in 1990 and shortly thereafter he became the family hairstylist – and Jade was our guy until he left us way too soon in 2013. It was about 22 years ago that he gave me this CD and suggested that I take a listen because he thought they might be going places.

Unfortunately, the band broke up about the same time, and we haven’t heard from them since….until tonight, when they got back together to play the inauguration. It turns out that this song is a Biden/Harris favorite – read the story here. This one’s for Jade! Hat tip Mrs. Dawg!

Exclusive: Watch the Complete New Radicals ‘You Get What You Give’ Inauguration Performance

Pardons

A couple of local celebrities received pardons yesterday:

Mr. Trump commuted the sentence of William T. Walters, a wealthy sports gambler. A jury convicted Mr. Walters in 2017 on charges related to his role in an insider-trading scheme, and he was sentenced to five years in prison.

Mr. Walters hired Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer John M. Dowd in 2018, after he stopped representing Mr. Trump, The New York Times reported this week. Mr. Dowd bragged to Mr. Walters and others that he could help them receive a pardon because of his close relationship with the president.

Mr. Dowd had also said that Mr. Trump would look favorably upon those who had been investigated by federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, an office that the president has long viewed as hostile to him and that has been involved in other investigations touching on him and his allies, according to two people briefed on the matter. Mr. Walters has paid Mr. Dowd tens of thousands of dollars to represent him, the people said.

Coincidentally, Billy’s home in Carlsbad that has been for sale since 2010 was finally marked pending last week.  If it closes, it will be the highest sale (by 2x) in Carlsbad history!

 

For some reason, the Duke received a pardon too, even though Wiki reports that he got out of jail in 2013.  His bribery case was legendary:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Cunningham

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Inventory By Area

What’s it like being a home buyer today? It’s a bonanza if you are in the multiple-millions category – there are hundreds of choices! If you want to stay under $1,500,000, the inventory looks bleak:

NSDCC Active Inventory

Town or Area
Zip Code
Actives Under $1.5M
Actives Over $1.5M
Overall Median List Price
Cardiff
92007
1
11
$2,895,000
NW Carlsbad
92008
4
10
$1,872,000
SE Carlsbad
92009
7
9
$1,594,000
NE Carlsbad
92010
2
0
$842,000
SW Carlsbad
92011
5
2
$1,149,000
Carmel Vly
92130
2
21
$3,450,000
Del Mar
92014
0
42
$5,423,000
Encinitas
92024
6
34
$2,737,000
La Jolla
92037
3
95
$4,245,000
RSF
92067
1
100
$5,295,000
Solana Bch
92075
0
12
$5,075,000
NSDCC
All Above
31
336
$3,995,000

Should the lower-end buyers be discouraged? No! There are 92 pending sales listed under $1,500,000 – they just sell fast. The lower-priced you are, the more tuned up you have to be to win a bidding war.

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Zillow vs. Realtors

We wondered what might happen when Zillow changed from a search portal to a brokerage last week.

Zillow showed us who’s the boss.

They deleted the last 50-100 sales from EVERY agent I checked, and ALL active listings were wiped off the agent profile.

They also tweaked my headshot!

None of my past sales on Zillow had any connection to the MLS – they were all manually uploaded, so this wasn’t a MLS-related event.  So I guess Zillow deliberately removed the past sales and active listings!

They haven’t responded to requests as to why, or whether they will put them back.

The MLS-listed properties used to have the listing agent plus the three-headed combo of Premier Agents who were prominently featured in the right-hand column.  The PAs pay hefty advertising fees for placement, but now they are listed below the schools which is down towards the bottom of the listing.  They are called ‘personal guides’ now:

The listing agent does get a one-liner mention too.

Zillow demonstrated their killer instinct previously when they tried to squash Trulia by out-spending them on advertising. Then Zillow bought Trulia and made them a sidekick. Has anyone heard of Trulia lately?

The days of Zillow playing nice with agents are over.

Today’s realtors might survive as long as the baby boomers, who are the only people left who might remember – and appreciate – getting good help. After that, Zillow will declare that the cabal has been broken, and convince you that all you need is a transactional brokerage to handle your paperwork.

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Inventory Watch

Custom mirror/rock wall combo!

Contest update:

We’ve only had 136 new NSDCC listings this month (including the Coming Soons), so matching last year’s count of 353 listings in January looks unlikely.  Those with the lower guesses are looking good:

234 – REOAndre

270 – lifeisradincbad

289 – Derek

305 – Joe

311 – Old Man

318 – Doughboy

325 – Haile

333 – Kris K.

347 – Big Crazy

353 – TominLaCosta

What’s not looking good is the idea that buyers will have plenty of choices this spring!

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