We had 1,782 new listings of houses and condos last month, in a county of 3.3 million people? And only 1,332 active listings (I believe that is the count at the end of the month). Look at Phoenix and Las Vegas for comparison, where they have 2x and 3x as many listings.
If we get a surge of inventory, it would just make the frenzy conditions even hotter!
One of the primary questions? How are the kids going to be able to buy a home?
If prices just stay at this level, it will be near impossible for local kids to save the down payment and afford the monthly nut when starter homes are selling for around $1,200,000.
Plus, there is the incentive now for seniors to hang onto the family homestead and then let one of the kids live there so they can keep the old property-tax basis. For kids who never left, they will live in the same home their whole life!
But if you have more than one kid, then what? It used to mean selling the family homestead and dividing up the loot, but today’s heirs probably own their current home too. Tomorrow’s heirs? Not so sure, which means more homes will stay in the family when the parents die, and fewer homes will be coming to market.
The tight inventory could get worse.
Because the majority of homes being purchased today are ‘forever’ homes and will be owner-occupied for generations, it narrows down the list of probable sellers to those who have owned their home for longer than 12 years, AND are selling for one of the Big Three reasons (death, divorce, and job transfer).
And the baby boomers are going to decide the outcome.
Baby boomers are:
Still relatively young, and living longer than ever.
Aging-in-Place, rather than pay the imposing tax penalty for selling before you die.
Hoping a kid will inherit the house and live in it.
There may be a boomer-liquidation surge in the future, but it will be at least 5-10 years before it could happen on a larger scale. In the meantime, seniors will live comfortably in their old family homesteads, and probably be joined by as many kids as can fit.
The seniors who do move will be from these categories:
Those buying a one-story house.
Those buying a multi-gen house so kids can help with senior care.
Those moving to assisted living.
Those who will rent, at least for now.
Some may have to move out-of-town, but at least their pockets will be full of cash.
Once they take care of themselves, boomers are going to focus on their kids – many of whom are still hanging around the house!
It means the entry-level markets will be full of younger buyers backed by affluent parents and grandparents – and they are loaded. There is also the multi-gen buyers who are looking for larger homes that will suit the whole family – or they will buy the one-story home for the folks, and then leave the old house for the kids.
There really should be an extra premium available for those home types when they sell, given the demand. If you are going to sell one of those (entry-level, multi-gen, or one-story), then list your home with me, and I’ll make sure you get all you deserve!
We have three more showings today and then almost 200 people will have seen the house since Friday! Next we will engage in open bidding by phone with all interested parties and let the MARKET decide the winner, not the listing agent (which is how everyone else does it).
Here’s a buyer-agent strategy that can be really effective, especially with weaker listing agents:
To demonstrate the imbalance between the supply and demand, look at the view counts of our new listing on the two search portals in the first 33 hours on the open market:
I received three phone calls from agents letting me know that they have interested buyers and will be attending the open house today – part of the rapport-building process that some have included in their repertoire of buyer-positioning tactics. One agent implored me to do a James Bond video, and even though Mitch has his Aston-Martin available, I had trouble getting into my black suit!
There were THREE other agents who requested an earlier showing time, so I’m getting started at 11:30am today to accommodate. On a Friday morning!
How pent-up is the demand coming into 2022?
Sacramento isn’t the same as us, but consider:
If there are multiple offers, what else can buyers do to compete, besides price?
Butter up the listing agent. It doesn’t work with me, but most listing agents want to select somebody who they like to be the winner. They justify it with it being a ‘good match for the neighborhood’ or some other garbage, but it is pure discrimination – though completely unconscious.
Bring the kids, for the same reason above. If you don’t have kids, grab an infant on your way over.
Figure out if there is any predetermined process for selecting the winner. When I ask a listing agent this question, at least 90% of the time the answer is “I don’t know, I let the seller decide”.
Big down payments, and big deposits. Though the chance of the buyers cancelling is the same, the naïve listing agents think those mean something.
Ask for seller disclosures, and if there is anything unusual, then waive that contingency.
Spend a lot of time at the house. It makes you look like you’re serious.
Be one of the first visitors, and the first offer. It impresses most listing agents, and mentally they have designated you as the probable winner.
At an open house last year, an agent brought me a sandwich. He still lost, but I’ll never forget it!
I heard an agent say, “If my buyers like the house, I tell them to offer $100,000 over list. If they love it, I tell them to offer $200,000 over list”. A great example of how dumbed down the business is!
Are we going to get a surge of new listings in the coming months?
Our recent history doesn’t suggest it – the San Diego inventory has been the worst around (thanks Bill):
But let’s consider what used to be normal, and see if we can connect the dots.
NSDCC Number of Listings Between January 1st and June 30th:
Total Number of NSDCC Listings, 1st Half
The first-half inventory really hit a groove at 2,700 listings for three years straight. But then the impact from covid struck in 2020, and the listings count was 15% lower than the previous years.
But then 2021 was even worse!
If you remember last year, we did a contest for readers to guess the number of listings in January, and everyone came in much higher than the actual listing count. The final total was 288 (Derek did get tickets).
As it turned out, it was an omen for the inventory all year.
Let’s do it again! To keep an eye on what will be the #1 predictor on how the spring season will roll out, let’s guess the number of NSDCC listings this month!
The recent history is below – leave your guess in the comment section.
NSDCC Total Number of Listings, Jan 1-31
Total # of Listings
If there is a baseball season, the winner will get four tickets to a Padres game! They aren’t front row, but they are pretty good seats:
There may only be a dozen or so guesses, so take part – your chances of winning are good!
My general sense of what will happen, based on the number of January listings:
450 or more listings: Frenzy will be over within 30 days.
400-450 listings: Causes a wait-and-see with some buyers.
300-400 listings: Super-charges the environment to ultra-frenzy conditions!
Under 300 listings: Painfully slow opening to the selling season.
Why do buyers offer $100,000-$200,000 over the list price?
The sellers and listing agents aren’t demanding it.
The home isn’t priced $100,000-$200,000 under value.
Half the homes are selling for list price or under.
There will be others for sale.
There isn’t a threat of transparency either – every listing agent (besides me) does blind bidding, and then just takes the highest offer. It would be understandable if there were rounds and rounds of open bidding and the buyers’ ego kicked in because they KNEW they had to out-bid everyone else to win.
But with blind bidding, you don’t know anything about the other offers (if any).
The extended frenzy is causing buyers to voluntarily sacrifice hundreds of thousands of extra dollars in trade for the hope of ending their frustration – and if they still lose, then they offer even more next time!
The frustration builds over time, and buyers go through a fairly predictable sequence:
Early-on: I’m not going to play that game – I’m not desperate.
After losing 2-3 houses: These people are nuts.
After losing 4-5 houses: Ok, this is ridiculous. I gotta get this over with.
The biggest problem is that it seems there are always people with more horsepower who started the process earlier and, as a result, are MORE frustrated than you.
Once buyers reach the peak frustration level and end up winning a house, they are left in disbelief with the one universal thought: “Oh, what have I done?”
It becomes obvious that buyers are paying tomorrow’s prices today, but they come to terms with it later because there are enough other reasons to buy this house that paying the frustration fee gets forgotten.
If overpaying is part of the environment, what can a buyer do?
Get to the peak frustration level quickly, and/or just buy the first house you see.
If you are going to overpay, then insist on buying a superior home.
Only buy an inferior home if the defects can be fixed with money.
You will have a 15-minute tour to size up the home and make decisions that will affect the rest of your life.
You’d be crazy to attempt that without a solid, experienced agent to assist you!
Yet, even with all this pent-up frustration among buyers, it doesn’t occur to listing agents to go back to all the other bidders and give everyone a chance to overpay.
These look like the towns to which people from New York and California are moving. Excerpts:
The boomer tide in the for-sale housing market is expected to continue to rise for at least the next 8 years; younger millennials will be hitting first-time home buying age at about the same time, meaning the 2020’s will be a period of sustained underlying demand in the housing market.
Year by year, these effects will be felt differently across markets.
In 2022, the market with the most demographic lift in the for-sale market is Austin, with a trend suggesting the formation of 3.4% more owning households (assuming there are homes available for them to buy). Orlando follows at 2.8%, and then Tampa at 2.7%. Of the largest 50 markets, 29 have natural owner household growth exceeding 1% in one year, the rule-of-thumb rate at which the housing stock increases nationally. The markets with the least demographic pressure for growth are Pittsburgh, Hartford and Buffalo.
There are two large known risk factors for housing markets in 2022. First, mortgage interest rates are expected to rise in 2022, making home loans more expensive for aspiring buyers. At the margin, this would restrict the inventory accessible in the most expensive markets, potentially driving up competition for the lowest-priced homes in those markets or removing them from consideration altogether.
Historically, home value appreciation in the following markets has strong negative correlation with interest rates — so if interest rates go up, these markets are likely to slow the most: San Diego, New Orleans, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco.
Second, forecasts on the performance of stocks are incredibly wide, with analysts’ 2022 year-end targets ranging from -7% to +13%, slower growth in any case than what we’ve seen in the last 2 years if not declines. A slower stock market would mean buyers are bringing relatively less to the table for a down payment in 2022.
This would most affect markets where there are a lot of first time buyers or where more buyers are entering from lower cost areas, bringing less equity from their previous home. (Or if housing is treated as an asset it could mean a substitution to housing in the next few months. What follows addresses only the downside risk.)
In the following markets, growth has strong positive correlation with stock market returns — so if the stock market falters next year, we’d expect home value growth in these places to slow disproportionately: Phoenix, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Hartford, St. Louis, Miami, Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Jose.
The latest from Altos data @mikesimonsen: financial markets are correcting dramatically + #mortgagerates are at their highest in 2 yrs. How quickly will this impact #homebuying decisions?: https://hubs.ly/Q012SS230
Jim the Realtor is legit - I interviewed three brokers; he said list price should be $100,000 higher than the other two brokers; listed it with him and had all cash (no financing) offer in two days, five day contingency period, closing in two weeks - and it closed at his recommended list price. I could not recommend anyone more than I recommend Jim the Realtor.
When we moved to San Diego in 2005 we rented a big house on Mt. Soledad (La Jolla) with 180 degree ocean views for the same payment as a mortgage on a dump in Chula Vista. Clearly something was wrong. Yet, the media was full of the usual happy-talk nonsense, so I was glad to find Jim's blog. I've followed his honest assessments and data since.
We decided to sell and move to AZ at Thanksgiving. Dec. 1st we met with Jim to sell our home. We closed today (29 days later). Jim orchestrated a feeding frenzy -- we had 25 showings in 2-1/2 days, multiple offers, and sold for well over asking price. I'd say he earned his commission! We have owned and sold homes in 5 different States always using experienced, productive, full-time realtors. Jim outshines them all.
You don't decide to sell and close 29 days later over Christmas (with COVID lockdown) without some miracles. Donna was amazing at performing lots of those miracles and ensuring that everything was done right and on time. They are a terrific team with a very responsive and professional network.
Where do we begin..2020 has been a year for everyone. When COVID hit and shut down both my husband and my businesses, we were left with a mortgage and very little income coming in. We were stressed, scared and felt stuck. We made the hard decision to sell our home and move out of state. We contacted the Klinges' and spent a good hour going over what we hoped we could accomplish. Jim and Donna came over with comps in hand and suggestions on improvements to get our house ready for the market. It was overwhelming to think about, but Donna was there and one step ahead in every scenario. Basically we just approved what they suggested and Donna handled literally everything. We placed our house on the market and within the first day we had multiple offers well above asking price! We couldn't believe it. We were overjoyed! Jim countered the offers to weed through them, and everyone came back with way more. It was amazing, and we are ?? sure it was because of the staging and repairs the Klinges suggested we do.
Due to unforeseen dishonesty from the buyers lender, we hit a big hurdle when trying to close. We had already moved out of state and were shocked when three days before closing the lender dropped a bombshell on the buyers and us. However, Jim and Donna handled it like veterans, not afraid to play hard ball and represent their clients. After a few phone calls with us, and several between Donna and the lender, they had a plan B-Z to make sure we were taken care of. In the end we closed with even more money than we ever thought possible and with very little work from us. The Klinges handled this entire "2020" worthy event with the utmost professionalism and did everything in their power to not only make this as smooth as possible for us, but we also walked away with more money from the sale of the house than we ever hoped for. After working with Jim and Donna, you don't ever use anyone else. They are hands down the best team to represent you in any scenario.
Working with Klinge Realty Group was a great experience! They are very responsive, professional and knowledgable about the real estate market! I would definitely recommend Klinge Realty Group.
Jim and Donna Klinge made the sale of our condo extraordinarily easy. They know the market and gave us sound advice backed by details and very considerable experience, reflected both in the initial pricing and subsequent negotiations. They work together as a team and are always available to talk. We had a few challenges with our property and they were able to coordinate the resolution to everything, including items that I would not think would ordinarily be their responsibility to handle. They made the whole process effortless on our part. They are folks with high integrity and we cannot recommend them highly enough.
Review for Member: Donna Klinge
I cannot believe there are no reviews of Donna yet, ugh!! She is the secret sauce of the Jim Klinge/Donna Klinge combo! I will touch on Jim here, but Donna is why I'm so totally loyal to these two (no offense to Jim :)).
I consider myself a rather savvy buyer/seller. I've bought/sold 7 times in about 15 years. On the buy side, Jim is the PERFECT combo of: completely digitally savvy (he will pull data all day long until you feel comfortable with your chosen house, area, school district, anticipated appreciation rate...anything!), he's super well respected and known in the area by other agents, an amazingly cool but strategic negotiator, is totally devoid of desperation for a sale/commission, and more.
Then once you get into contract phase, Donna literally handles every last and final detail in a concierge-like manner -- totally shielding you from the daily back and forth, noodling and annoyances of the buyer's requests. She solves it ALL; it's miraculous what that woman accomplishes over and above what is even expected in a buy/sell transaction.
On the sell side, Jim and Donna do the same, but even moreso. Donna in particular truly takes everything off your plate: she'll manage getting the house painted, the carpets replaced, she'll go on site (as she Jim both did for me when selling our rental properties) to work with the renters and make sure the house is ready to show -- freeing me to have to take time off of work to do so. They work with A+ integrity, too, so you know you are serving all parties fairly and lawfully throughout.
A home purchase/sale is the most considered you'll ever make. HIRE A SAVVY AGENT, not a friend!, and get what you need out of the transaction. Jim and Donna are our agents for life.
Jim and Donna Klinge are by far the most professional, personable and responsive realtors I have ever worked with. They provide VIP concierge level service in every area of the process of selling your home. My home was marketed so successfully that we received an offer the day after our first and only open house. Thanks to Jim's pricing and negotiating, our house is now the highest sold in our community. Jim's vast experience means he has worked with several realtors and knows the market all over north county. Donna is AMAZING in processing everything in the transaction. She scheduled trades people to work on the house in preparation for the sale as well as the repairs needed before closing. She communicated clearly every step of the way about what would be happening. She took the weight off my shoulders for the whole process. I will always use Jim and Donna for my future real estate needs and I whole heartedly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a home.
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. As a first time home buyer I had no idea what the process would entail, but Donna curtailed every concern I came across and made the escrow process feel seamless. Jim and Donna provided me the best home buying experience, and I am very grateful for all they did for me. It was truly a pleasure to work with Jim and Donna and I am already looking forward to the next time we work together!
Review for Member: Richard Morgan
Richard is an amazing realtor! He has high integrity and genuinely cares about his clients and their needs. Richard paid close attention to what I was seeking in a home and was very patient in our search to find it. I would highly recommend Richard and will use him for future transactions. Truly a different kind of realtor experience!
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge!