Inventory Watch

In our previous reading last Monday, the pendings count had jumped 20% – and this week it popped another 15%! Today’s actual count of 140 pendings is now ahead of last year, which had an early start to the selling season!  At this point, this year looks the same!

This morning’s count of January listings between La Jolla and Carlsbad is 204, which means Joe has the contest for Padres tickets in the bag. Having slightly more inventory than last year should mean more sales!

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Inventory Watch

During the frenzy, the market had waves of new pendings happen in the same week or two, as if there is a home-buying karma that sweeps a bunch of buyers into action at the same time. It’s probably more due to them digesting the new listings, and after a couple of weeks of 2024, it appears buyers are acting!

The NSDCC pendings count rose from 102 to 122 this week, a 20% pop!

In the graph above, you can see that last year the market was cooking by mid-February. When the actives and pending are stable, it means that the deals are closing as fast as the new listings are coming on!

Here is the history from the last few years:

2023:

2022:

2021:

2019/2020:

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Inventory Watch

NSDCC Listings, January 1-15

2023: 100

2024: 99

You could say that the 2024 inventory is tracking very closely to last year’s numbers! There will be extras added to this year’s count, so comparatively, we can guess that the 2024 count will be 110-115 or so.

But look at the difference in the graph above.

Last year got off to a fast start as the number of pendings picked up right away….but not this year. The actives are there, but they aren’t flying into escrow like last year.

Our open house had a similar result. lots of attendees, glowing remarks, hints of offers, but we’re not in escrow yet. I only saw a handful of other open houses, but the results looked the same – lots of people milling about, but that’s about it.

A slower start probably means that the inventory is still very thin, which makes it hard to compare. Mortgage rates are about the same as they were last January, so that’s not it – but the rate expectation is way different, with Fed moves expected over the next few months. It could cause buyers to be very deliberate in the early going.

Hopefully, the pendings count will increase over the next few days as the fruits from the weekend are logged. But the actives are surging ahead for now.

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Inventory Watch

There were 50 new listings in the first seven days of last year.

This year, there have been 43 new listings in the first week, but there are late-reporters and those agents who input a new listing later in the month but use the contract date from weeks earlier. It’s not a smart move due to a glitch in the MLS which uses the contract date, not the actual days on the market, when other agents are searching for listings from the last seven days, etc. causing them to miss new listings.

Based on both reasons, the final total for the first seven days will probably be 60-ish, which means we’re off to a good start for those of us who are hoping for additional inventory!

Here are the guesses for the total number of January, 2024 listings submitted so far on the contest for Padres tickets (last January’s total was 205). You are welcome to add or revise your guess in the comment section up to January 15th:

Contest to Guess the Total Number of NSDCC January Listings

142 Anne M

157 Skip

160 doughboy

170 Dale

174 SurfRider

176 LifeIsRadInCbad

180 Kingside

188 Stephanie R.

189 Chris

190 Tom

192 Sara G.

200 Curtis

208 Rob Dawg

210 Bode

213 Shadash

217 Nick

222 Majeed

223 Joe

The market has fired up quickly – there were lots of people at open houses over the weekend and a new listing that interested my buyers already had three offers on it since hitting the market last week. Interestingly, I went by three hot new listings that were NOT doing open house. Get Good Help!

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Inventory Watch, 2024

The NSDCC inventory is starting off the new year with virtually identical numbers as it did in 2023!

The big difference?

Last year everyone thought we had a recession coming, and this year it’s all blue sky ahead.

At the beginning of 2023, the 30-year mortgage rate was 6.48% and all we heard was that existing homeowners would never sell because their existing 3% rate had them ‘locked-in’.

Today’s rate is 6.61% and everyone says that the lower rates will free up inventory this year!

Let’s examine the statistics that will give us a better feel for the future of home sales between La Jolla and Carlsbad. These are the three areas that are full of the homogeneous tract homes that give us a better read on the trends – they had 62% of the NSDCC sales last year:

To say that we’re in a mature market controlled by baby boomers is putting it lightly. The ‘locked-in’ effect has been around for a long time for whatever reason – but mostly because we live in paradise:

Carlsbad, CA

Encinitas,CA

Carmel Valley 92130

The vast majority of those who have been in their home since 2016 or longer are ‘locked-in’ because of the price they paid – they aren’t going to pay double or triple what they paid for their current home to just move down the street or around the corner. If they have lived in the same home this long, chances are they will stay to the end – and we’re talking about 80% to 90% of today’s homeowners!

Thankfully, life happens. Death, divorce, and job transfers will keep causing homes to come up for sale.

It will take a 20% YoY surge in NSDCC inventory this year just to match the number of homes for sale in 2022, and I’ll be happy if it is just a 10% increase over last year!

But we have become accustomed to frenzy conditions, and for many it is all they know. The current environment feels somewhat like 2013 again, which was the last time we had a non-covid surge. We were coming off a hot 4Q12, even though rates didn’t change much:

But the market exploded in 2013, just because. I think it’s going to happen again this year, just because.

We’ll find out soon enough – our first listing of the year will hit the market a week from today!

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Inventory Watch

It’s been impressive how strong the pricing has looked towards the end of the year. But if we’re looking at the median list prices, then all we know is that these are the medians of what’s not working…..but at least they aren’t going the other way!

The limited inventory has helped to keep the market stabilized. The total number of NSDCC houses for sale in 2023 was only 2,531 for the year, which was 17% lower than last year and 47% lower than 2019. Yet sales were only down 15%  from 2022, and -38% from 2019.

Next year should be equally exciting, either because the inventory stays ultra-low and we gawk at the fight over too few goods, or because there is a 10% to 20% surge in listings that will bring out more demand!

Plus lower rates – wow, it’s going to be one heck of a year. I could not be more optimistic!

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Inventory Watch

As the real estate market continues to ‘normalize’ and we get used to a perpetually low-inventory environment, these are factors that will greet the players in 2024:

  1. The NSDCC median list price today is $4,250,000, the highest ever.
  2. There are 19 homes for sale under $1,500,000 between La Jolla and Carlsbad.
  3. The current inventory of 314 NSDCC houses for sale couldn’t be more picked over.
  4. Yet, the currently unsold inventory will be a significant factor in creating the new list prices in 2024.
  5. Bidding wars on attractively-priced homes for sale.

In the graph above, it looks like the national market gets off to a similar start every year. Over the last three years, the showings peaked in early-April, and then dwindled down.

The market intensity should be red hot in the first quarter of 2024! But will the pricing cause sales?

The reasonable sellers in early 2024 should be greatly rewarded.

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Inventory Watch

Today we wrap up the 50-week look at the number of NSDCC active and pending listings for 2023 (above). Last year’s market was the only one that was somewhat comparable to this year, so here’s how 2022 looked for the same 50 weeks:

Second week of December, 2022: 329 actives. 107 pendings

Second week of December, 2023: 332 actives, 118 pendings

Those who are betting that 2024 inventory will look a lot like the last two years probably won’t be disappointed!

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Here is how the last two years looked for their pricing quartiles:

2022

2023

Whoa….a much-different look! Once the higher mortgage rates took the fluff out of the list prices last summer, the market has been fairly steady. How about the sales prices?

First Quarter, 2022: 537 sales, median sales price $2,350,000

First Quarter, 2023: 408 sales, median sales price $2,100,000

Third Quarter, 2023: 522 sales, median sales price $2,150,000

Jay Powell can say he crashed the market – and this is how it looks today between La Jolla and Carlsbad.

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Inventory Watch

Last week, I speculated whether we will see a nice increase next year in the number of homes for sale. Rising inventory has been happening around the country….but not here, at least not yet:

But the NSDCC market today looks a lot like it did last year, which suggests we might have similar results. I keep notes every week, and this is how my five price categories (O-$1.5M, $1.5-$2.0M, $2.0-$3.0M, $3.0-$4.0M, and $4.0M+) and the quartiles compare YoY:

As much as it seems that we’re overdue for more inventory, we probably won’t get it.

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An Inventory Surge?

While a surge in inventory next year would help to change the market dynamics, there isn’t any hard evidence of it happening yet:

How many would be considered a surge? If the number of new listings rose 10% or even 20%, would anyone notice? Probably not.

Using these November numbers, and adding an extra 20% would only get us back to last year’s total – which we thought was bleak then. but now I’d take it!

It would take a real bump to get buyers to step back and say, ‘hold on, I’m going to wait and see where this goes for a month or two’.

Let’s guess that it would take at least a 25% increase in new listings for buyers to pause.

I was asking around yesterday, but nobody had anything definite to report about their new-listings flow for next year. One agent thought that we’re going to see a lot of short sales though (???).

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