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Happy New Year!

The best thing about 2021 for Kayla? Her new boyfriend Frank, who is a great guy and quite a golfer too!

Natalie signed with a new talent agent and has high hopes for next-level work in the new year. Dancing on a concert tour would be ideal, all while being our marketing director!

Hello 2022!

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I said that pricing will likely seem a lot higher this year.

With few recent sales to guide them, sellers and listing agents will wonder how much can they get away with on price. There are tales of a old blogger guy being wildly successful with his transparent open bidding, but other agents aren’t experienced in conducting a slow-motion auction and don’t have the guts.

Instead, the list prices will be getting packed.

When sellers wonder how high, it will be easier to lump 10%, or more, on top of the initial guess (which was probably +5% optimistic already).  The zestimate, or other automated valuation, that is higher and supports the dream will be collected as proof!

But it’s the METHOD of selling that makes the +10% possible.

Bidders are turned against one another and compete for the prize.  Their ego takes over and directs the bidding……and the contest is on, with no ceiling.

Will a list price that starts at 10% to 15% higher than comps produce the same results as my slow-motion auctions? Maybe, but only with the homes that are highly upgraded with all the bells & whistles and have a superior location. The real creampuffs.

The early buyers will have to tolerate such sloppy pricing, but for those who are already frustrated from not buying a house in 2020/2021, it won’t matter and they will grab whatever they can. It virtually guarantees that the first 1-3 months of the season will be scorching hot.

But there will come a day when we run out of those buyers, and the frenzy conditions will be over.

I’m sticking with my +15% appreciation, and it all happens in the first half of 2022.

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Two new laws that address the housing crisis begin today (above).

Baby boomers are another year older, and more will need help with living. The multi-gen home buyers will grow in numbers, and granny flats will be an ideal solution. Many will buy a suitable property with grandma’s money, and take care of her until the end.

Some multi-gen home buyers will cope with finding an existing single-family home and adding their own granny flat. But the real opportunity will be for those sellers of properties that already have an ADU. Because the supply is low and the need is very high (and because grandma’s money came a little too easily), the prices paid for homes with existing granny flats will be excessive. There will be a separate category of comps too – those with ADUs, and those without, with a pricing differential of 10% minimum.

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 This could be the year that buyers have to pay for their own agent.

I don’t think many agents can make a case of why they are worth it – or at least demonstrate why they are worth as much as 2% to 3%.  It would be cool to develop buyer-agent squads who are experts in their field and are worthy of compensation – and can prove it.  But most will just fade away, or open up a shop of discount door-openers who don’t offer much, but get paid up front.

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Another political season starts in 2022, which means an increase in the vitriol and hate. The perceived volatility will cause a few people to move to areas which are better suited for their political leanings, especially if there are riots – which is what it would take to get laid-back San Diegans to reconsider a move. It may not cause a surge of additional sellers here, but it could create more demand for homes in those politically-friendly destinations.

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The difficulty of buying homes out-of-state is already tough enough, and now they are more expensive  – with some now 30% to 40% higher. It could be the game-changer for potential sellers and even be the reason why the inventory has been so tight recently.

We don’t know what it will take to get more homeowners to sell.

In the past, record-high prices did the trick, but today’s prices are setting new records every month – and inventory is in decline. How many current homeowners in San Diego wouldn’t sell at any price? 80%? 90%?  That’s a problem, and I’ll say that it’s something we’ve never faced before until the last few months.

At the same time, the number of San Diego County detached-home sales in 2021 will probably rank as the #2 of all-time, behind only those in 2003.  There were 28,319 detached-home listings last year, and 25,029 sales, which is incredibly efficient. Virtually everything is selling!

But only 12,936 of those listings came in the second half of 2021, and if we continue at that pace or lower, it will be excruciating for buyers – and send prices to the moon.

The optimum number of listings will probably be in the 30,000 to 35,000 range.  Having a small surge in listings will drive the market crazy with activity…..and force sellers and buyers to Get Good Help!

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas

Me showing the kid a dance step or two…..

Natalie had a covid scare but tested negative four days in a row so she was able to join Kayla, Frank and us for Christmas weekend!

We appreciate those who include us in their search for the perfect home for the holidays – thank you!

Christmas dinner! L-R: Donna’s cousin Krista, sister Suzanne, Natalie, Frank & Kayla, and sister Elizabeth (and Donna in the background)

Manhattan Views

We did get to spend the Thanksgiving weekend in Manhattan with Kayla. She cooked a good old-fashioned turkey dinner at home on Thursday, and the next day we visited the new tourist attraction on 42nd Street adjacent to Grand Central Station. They run you up to the 92nd floor where most of the younger folks are posing like a Kardashian – with some bringing their own pro photographers!

The view looking towards downtown (and Brooklyn to the left):

Looking west across the Hudson River towards New Jersey:

42nd Street below, and New Jersey in the distance:

Pivoting to the right, this is looking up Madison Avenue towards Central Park, Harlem, and the Bronx:

Looking east towards the Chrysler Building and the United Nations, with Queens in the distance:

Happy Holidays!

NYC Real Estate Report

Our daughter Kayla was planning to be here anyway, and was due to arrive yesterday. Thankfully, she was able to catch a flight on Tuesday, and missed all the excitement in the Big Apple!

I’m hoping to get her on video before she goes home.

Kayla & Mom

Donna’s tribute to Kayla (from our newsletter) will be the perfect way to kick off more contributions:

Tomorrow (July 9th) is a very special day. 30 years ago I became a Mom and I remember like it was yesterday. Filled with uncertainty – can I do this? Emotional – lots of hormones! But filled with lots of love and wonder as I took a look at our little girl Kayla Marie.

I remember fondly 3 year old Kayla who loved “Mommy and Me” Saturdays which were basically errands but to her it was an important outing just the two of us. Kayla has a way of making everything special. We always ended up sitting in the car feeding McDonalds French Fries to the seagulls in Carlsbad – the car would be filled with squeals because those seagulls can get aggressive. With Kayla you can always count on laughing until your stomach hurts.

Kayla found her voice through dance – she used to be very shy as a toddler. But anyone who knows her now knows Kayla can talk to anyone about anything – she makes friends easily. When she decided three years ago to move to New York City because she has always wanted to live there ever since Gossip Girl, I was so impressed by her courage to just go for it. I will never forget her saying to me “Mom we just got to walk on in like we own the place” when we were figuring out what to do at this event. I watched her walk into this room and own it – it was a memory.

But what I love the most about Kayla is her huge heart. Her 2nd Grade teacher Angie told me about how big her heart was and she was right. You just feel it. 30 years and she has never stopped living her life that way. She would do almost anything for anyone she cares about. She will give you everything she has. She is a loyal and fierce friend. She remembers everyone’s birthday – just ask her and she can tell you without looking it up on her phone. When you are with her and she’s focused (sometimes she isn’t), you feel special and just fortunate you are in her world. Of course she is not perfect; she drives me crazy at times and there are days I just need a break. It can be exhausting! But then she wouldn’t be Kayla with all her glory, fun and charm.

Happy Birthday sweet girl – I am so glad you chose me to be your mom! I love you lots and I am so proud of the woman you have become. Here’s to you – 30 and Fabulous! Enjoy your special day.

Love Mom

Happy Birthday Kayla!

Last night

Today is Kayla’s 30th birthday!

The stories started early last night, and the favorite was her memory of us going to Disneyland when she was a kid, and waiting in line for autographs from a boy band who was playing that week.

Before we got to the front of the line, they shut down the signings – and Kayla was crushed.

That night, she talked me into taking her back, just so she could get her autographs. Over Mom’s objections, we returned the next day and she got what she wanted!

She is equally determined to stay in Manhattan for the duration, and make it as a realtor.  She had two sales set up for closing next week, which would have been a new record for her.

But one of the sales just got delayed because the seller didn’t feel like moving until middle of August.  Because the sale was in a co-op building where the owners have to approve of the new buyer, the purchase contract (authored by attorneys) doesn’t specify a closing date due to the uncertainty of the approval process.

It’s part of Kayla’s job as buyer’s agent to submit a ‘board package’ so they can review the buyers and their financials, which she did well in advance and got it approved. But without a closing date set in advance like we do it in California, her buyers will have to wait another month before moving in, which was fine – but different!

Happy Birthday Kayla – it is my life’s joy to be your Daddy! I love you!

Bubbleinfo.com, The First 15 Years

Bubbleinfo.com has been in existence for 15 years!  The peak audience here was at the bottom of the market (~11k), but having 5.6k users over the last 28 days is fantastic – thanks for being here!

Over the last 15 years:

Total number of Blog Posts: 9,820 (plus a few hundred more on the previous Squarespace format)

Blog comments: 64,524 (of which 6,587 were mine)

Twitter: 11,200 tweets

Instagram: 482 posts, 1,087 followers (Natalie is running it)

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The big news this week is that Kayla is going solo!

You’re never going to be comfortable and ready to go on your own, so at some point, every agent has to take the plunge.  She is going to keep working at Douglas Elliman in their midtown Manhattan office, and she has pledged to have her new blog up and running by October 1st!

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