Still Time to Move!

The selling season is pretty much over – did you get ‘er done?  Or did summer slip away from you?

School starts in 40 days…..there is still time!

But when you include a couple of days for negotiating, and a couple of days for moving, you need to make a deal by Monday!

Lower rates have helped to keep our pending sales afloat, so don’t give up hope:

Get Good Help!

Peak Selling Season

Here’s a visual comparison of last year’s counts of NSDCC weekly active and pending listings, and how we are doing this year.

Mortgage rates had bumped up from 4.47% in April to 4.83% in October, but the inventory kept growing too, which didn’t help.  The pendings are a better gauge than sales for showing when the buying decisions were being made, and you can see that last year, buyers started losing interest after mid-June.

The bulging inventory in the second half of 2018 also left us with an inventory hangover.  We started the year with 35% more homes on the market than the previous year, which led to a slower start in 2019.

But the weekly pendings have strengthened lately, and have been tracking about the same counts as we had in 2018 – probably due to lower rates.  Last month, the Freddie Mac average 30-year rate was 4.14%.

If rates stay the same as they are today, we really should see the season extend past June – because it got whacked last year.  But high pricing and more inventory could spoil the momentum too.

Inventory Watch

How’s the market?

The surge continued this past week, with the current pendings count rising from 302 to 324, which is a 7% increase. Last year, the pendings topped off the previous week and then dropped for four weeks. With this current burst, the pendings count is only seven percent behind last year.

The battle lines are drawn right around the $2 million mark, with the number of actives priced over $2,000,000 being 19% higher than in early January.

But the Under-$2,000,000 market looks great:

NSDCC Actives and Pendings

List Price Range
Actives
Pendings
Actives/Pendings Ratio
$2,000,000-
415
235
1.8
$2,000,000+
474
95
5.0

There probably isn’t much trickle up? But the 5.0 isn’t bad, and the 95 pendings is a 53% increase from a month ago!

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Inventory Watch

The surge noted last week continued its hot streak, which should be expected as the selling season really gets rolling.  The total number of pendings increased 6%, and those over $2,000,000 increased 24%!

Glad to see the $2,000,000+ market having some life, with 462 active listings – or 54% of the total inventory of houses for sale between La Jolla and Carlsbad.

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Even though it might feel warmer, we are still lagging behind last year:

Weekly Total Pendings

Week
2018
2019
% diff
Jan
244
217
-11%
Feb
262
233
-11%
Feb
280
255
-9%
Feb
295
263
-11%
Feb
318
261
-18%
Mar
328
267
-19%
Mar
339
284
-16%

What might contribute to buyers wanting to wait-and-see a bit longer is the lack of bidding wars.  Instead of having to deal with the messy multiple-offer situations, agents who get a hot listing just sell it off-market now.

Without bidding wars, we don’t have those disappointed losers who get more determined to grab the next one, and move quickly to pay whatever it takes.

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Inventory Watch

Thanks Rob Dawg for the gift!

Our contest for Padres tickets got more exciting this week due to Manny Mania!

NSDCC New Listings Jan 1 to Feb 20:

2018: 681

2019: 644 (-5%)

The two-month total last year was 783, so we’re on a pace to hit 741.  Doughboy guessed 740, but it came in after the guessing period ended.  If he wins, I’ll give tickets to him and the next closest guesser.

Others who guessed under 800:

755 – Neil

777 – Bb

785 – Recordsclerk

799 – TominLaCosta

We finally hit a statistical oddity that we’ve been flirting with for months.  The average list-price-per-sf of the Under-$1,000,000 category caught up with the next category, $1.0M to $1.5M.

Both are at $494/sf today!

There was another quirk also. The new listings AND the new pendings both dropped off over the past week, which is unusual for this time of year.  It must have been due to the rain?

The total number of pendings today is 18% behind last year.

Looking ahead to next month? It starts Friday!  We had 446 new listings in March of last year, which was 25% more than in February, 2018.

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NSDCC Actives/Pendings

Active/Pending stats for detached-homes between La Jolla and Carlsbad:

Reading Date
Actives
Pendings
A+P
A/P
Oct 28, 2015
970
358
1,328
2.71
Feb 1, 2016
788
254
1,042
3.10
Mar 23, 2016
900
399
1,299
2.26
June 21, 2016
1,052
428
1,480
2.46
Aug 17, 2016
1,060
395
1,455
2.68
Dec 4, 2016
886
327
1,213
2.71
Apr 21, 2017
842
427
1,269
1.97
July 16, 2018
973
357
1,330
2.73
Oct 28, 2018
985
297
1,282
3.31
Feb 3, 2019
774
232
1,006
3.34

NSDCC Actives Median List Price = $2,250,000 in October. It’s $2,275,000 today.

NSDCC Pendings Median LP = $1,399,000 in October. It’s $1,312,500 today.

The pendings are just a little slower, but we’re about the same as in 2016.  We’ve had it so good for so long, we really shouldn’t be concerned if the market backs off a tad from here.  Let’s check again towards the end of March!

Here are the Actives/Pendings ratios for each area:

Area
Zip Code
June 2016
Aug
Dec
Apr 2017
July 2018
Oct
Feb 2019
Cardiff
92007
2.3
3.5
1.1
1.0
2.5
2.6
2.3
Carlsbad NW
92008
2.0
2.3
1.3
1.2
2.9
4.7
1.8
Carlsbad SE
92009
1.6
2.0
1.9
1.0
1.3
2.8
1.9
Carlsbad NE
92010
0.7
0.9
1.3
0.9
1.1
2.2
1.4
Carlsbad SW
92011
1.6
1.5
1.3
1.1
2.4
1.3
1.4
Del Mar
92014
3.2
2.5
4.9
3.3
9.4
6.6
7.1
Encinitas
92024
1.3
1.8
1.8
1.6
2.0
2.0
2.1
La Jolla
92037
4.8
4.4
4.4
3.7
4.4
4.8
6.3
RSF
92067
8.2
6.3
6.3
5.2
4.6
4.8
10.5
Solana Bch
92075
2.9
3.9
2.7
1.5
2.0
4.0
7.7
Carmel Vly
92130
1.5
1.8
1.8
1.1
1.9
3.0
2.4
All Above
All
2.5
2.7
2.7
2.0
2.7
3.3
3.3

It’s a random selection of dates, but no real big concerns here. The higher-end areas (especially Rancho Santa Fe) don’t worry themselves with the law of supply and demand – they just wait their turn. The rest look fine.

Fannie/Freddie Limit up to $726,525

Today the FHFA announced that they have raised the Fannie/Freddie mortgage limit to $726,525 in high-cost areas:

Link to Article

With deductible mortgage interest now capped at $750,000 by the I.R.S., buyers who are concerned about write-offs will want to keep their new loan balance in the $700,000s.

The strict equation is $750,000/80% = $937,500.

If buyers find a house priced higher, they could come up with more cash to make up the difference, or they could get a jumbo loan at roughly the same interest rate and live with the non-deductible interest paid on the loan amount above $750,000.

It makes the ideal purchase price in the $1,000,000-$1,100,000 range.

If the tax reform is a big concern for buyers as some have suggested, the homes priced in the $1,100,000 – $1,500,000 might feel it.  Buyers above that range weren’t expecting as much benefit anyway, and probably won’t be as impacted – but theoretically there are fewer buyers the higher we go.

Out of curiosity, let’s keep an eye on the NSDCC stats.

Today’s NSDCC Actives and Pendings:

$700,000-$1,100,000: 121/72 = 1.68

$1,100,000-$1,500,000: 157/75 = 2.09

$1,500,000-$2,500,000: 243/81 = 3.00

$2,500,000 and higher: 399/44 = 9.07

The market has been healthy up to $1,500,000 roughly, and like Rob Dawg said yesterday, potential buyers may not know the exact impact of the tax reform until they start on their 2018 tax returns in spring.

Let’s come back then and check for impact!

NSDCC Actives/Pendings

Here are the stats for the NSDCC detached-home market (La Jolla to Carlsbad):

Reading Date
Actives
Pendings
A+P
A/P
Oct 28, 2015
970
358
1,328
2.71
Feb 1, 2016
788
254
1,042
3.10
Mar 23, 2016
900
399
1,299
2.26
June 21, 2016
1,052
428
1,480
2.46
Aug 17, 2016
1,060
395
1,455
2.68
Dec 4, 2016
886
327
1,213
2.71
Apr 21, 2017
842
427
1,269
1.97
July 16, 2018
973
357
1,330
2.73
Oct 28, 2018
985
297
1,282
3.31

NSDCC Actives Median Price = $2,250,000

NSDCC Pendings Median Price = $1,399,000

Only 12% of the actives are under $1,000,000, and 33% are over $3,000,000 (was 10% and 35% last reading). You could say pricing has slid down 2% since July, but pricing stats are just good for trend-watching over the long haul.

The 3.31 ratio is the highest on the chart, and if it was due to an explosion of active (unsold) listings, it would be more troubling. If more homeowners were nervous, we’d see a higher total of listings today, instead of waiting for spring.

The areas in red have had prices go up too fast, and sellers are holding out.

Areas circled in green are active and healthy.

The Del Mar and Solana Beach samples are smaller and will be more volatile.

Inventory Watch

The total number of pendings went up 2% this week, and the number of closed sales for the first half of October (116) is higher than last year (114).

Statistically, the market is ‘fine’ up to the $1,600,000s.

The actives/pendings count for NSDCC listings priced under $1,650,000 is 355/183, or almost exactly the 2:1 ratio we use to describe a healthy market.

It may feel like a bit of a struggle now, but the distractions have just begun.  Halloween is next week!

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