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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Benefit of Lower Mortgage Rates?

The pundits remind us regularly that mortgage rates are historically low, and this colorful graph shows it clearly.  But home buyers are frustrated because any benefit has been offset by today’s higher prices.

Year
Sales Price
Loan Amount
30Y Mortgage Rate
Mortgage Payment
1984
$431,250
$345,000
13%
$3,816
1990
$543,750
$435,000
10%
$3,817
2002
$717,500
$574,000
7%
$3,819
2019
$1,000,000
$800,000
4%
$3,819

Lower rates today enable buyers to afford a house that is 2.3x more expensive than in 1984 and still have the same monthly payment.  But home values have appreciated more – the December San Diego Case-Shiller Index is 4.6x higher.

It’s worse in the higher-end areas too.

Back in the day, we were selling the PB crackerboxes for $100,000 – $150,000.

Now look at the prices:

Inventory Watch

We’ve had a mini-surge in listings over the last few days!  There will be a few more added to the MLS this week, but it looks like the total for the first two months of the year will wind up in the 760-785 range.

NSDCC New Listings Jan 1 to Feb 28 (as of March 4th):

2018: 783

2019: 760 

Padres’ Tickets Contest – Guesses Under 800:

740 – Doughboy

755 – Neil

777 – Bb

785 – Recordsclerk

799 – TominLaCosta

We wanted to gauge whether there was any panic setting in among sellers, judged by how many more were rushing their home onto the market early in the selling season.  If there would have been a surge of 5% to 10% more listings during the first two months of this year, it could have been a tipping point.

But as it turns out, we’ll be lucky to match last year’s total.

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Closed sales are better than expected:

NSDCC Closed Sales:

Year
January
February
Median SP YTD
Avg $$/sf YTD
2017
175
173
$1,222,000
$513/sf
2018
150
164
$1,294,005
$573/sf
2019
150
171
$1,275,000
$540/sf

(Updated March 11th)

The 2019 median list price and sales price were the same $1.275M!

But the NSDCC Pendings are stalling, and now 19% under last year’s total at this time, so I’ll stick with my -20% guess on sales. We got off to a hot start this year, but the enthusiasm is slowing – based on this:

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%

The average list-price-per-square-foot of listings priced under $1,500,000 has been flat lately, and about the same as last year. But listings priced between $1,500,000 and $2,000,000 are averaging about 10% higher LP/$ than last year.

A sluggish selling season would probably end earlier than usual, but give us at least a couple of more months, please!

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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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Inventory Watch

Our contest for Padres tickets got a little tighter this week:

NSDCC New Listings Jan 1 to Feb 15:

2018: 620

2019: 607

There should be a few more added this week to the 2019 count, so it’s about even?  The total pendings count is 11% behind last year at this time, which confirms the slower start we expected in 2019.

But maybe an increasing inventory could spur more sales in the coming weeks?

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Meanwhile, the Padres themselves are hoping to make a splash:

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-hot-stove-padres-have-reportedly-offered-manny-machado-an-eight-year-deal-worth-at-least-240-million/

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Inventory Watch

New listings stayed in check this week, with only 83 properties coming to market. With so many being re-lists, buyers are probably underwhelmed so far – but that’s not stopping them.  The NSDCC pendings are hopping!

While we would expect increased activity this time of year, the 18% increase in pendings over the last two weeks is better than the 15% we had in 2018.

Interestingly, the price category where we thought we might have the most trouble due to the reduced MID is actually the hottest right now. The count of pendings priced between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000 has gone up 40% over the last two weeks!

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Inventory Watch

For the Padres-tickets contest, we are counting the number of new listings between January 1st and February 28th to help us identify if more sellers are listing earlier in the season.  If so, it could cause some panic in the air – and if not, it will be business as usual for 2019.

Last year we had 425 listings in January, and 357 in February.

This year we’ve had 404 listings in January, so if it goes the same way it did last year, we’ll end up with less than 800 listings, and put us in the no-panic zone.

If we have the same number of February listings as last year, the combined count will be the lowest on this chart:

NSDCC New Listings, Jan & Feb

Year
Jan+Feb Listings
Median List Price
Median DOM
2012
794
$954,500
88
2013
785
$1,130,000
37
2014
802
$1,295,000
42
2015
821
$1,345,000
37
2016
917
$1,489,900
46
2017
787
$1,499,876
38
2018
782
$1,599,000
35
2019
404 in Jan
$1,683,500
35

We’re 5% under last year’s listing count, and the median list price is +5% higher.

Currently there are 72 NSDCC houses listed under $1,000,000.  But half of those are priced above $900,000, and a quarter of them above $975,000!

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Inventory Watch


We have been having a surge in the market – the total pendings count went up a net 11% this week!  The new-listings count slowed down too – see below (it was almost tied last week).

The inventory change was almost all on the low-end. There are 14 fewer active listings today, and 15 more pendings.  In the area between La Jolla and Carlsbad, there are roughly 300,000 people, and today we only have 68 houses for sale listed under $1,000,000 – and NO houses under $665,000.

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Have you joined the contest yet? Click here to register your guess of how many total listings we will have between Jan 1 and Feb 28 – the closest will receive four tickets to a Padres game!

NSDCC New Listings Jan 1 to Jan 22:

2016: 365

2017: 284

2018: 317

2019: 282

This will be the last week to enter the contest, or to revise your guess!

The 2019 total-listings count fell behind lately, which means potential sellers are in no rush to get their house on the market.  Unless it was painfully obvious to them that the market is under siege (there’s no sign of that), then the list prices are going to hold – or possibly rise in the coming months.  Three of the four inventory groups below have substantially higher list-price-per-sf than they did at this time a year ago!

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Inventory Watch

We saw the local SD Case-Shiller broken down into pricing tiers for the whole county, marking what the buyers are paying for same-house sales.

To gauge the sellers’ expectations, here’s the trend for list prices of detached-homes between La Jolla and Carlsbad over the last 50 weeks:

Expectations are at their 50-week highs, and we’re just getting started!

Sellers aren’t going to adjust until there has been solid proof for months or years that their price is wrong. Would you?

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Are you coming off vacation and getting back in the swing? Click here to register your guess of how many total listings we will have between Jan 1 and Feb 28 – the closest will receive four tickets to a Padres game!

NSDCC New Listings Jan 1 to Jan 15:

2018: 214

2019: 208

There should be a few late-reporters that pull us up to about even with 2018!

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Inventory Watch

A few general observations as the 2019 market continues to liftoff.

  1. At the Inventory Watch, we are measuring the active listings, which are the unsold listings – so we are measuring what isn’t working, at least not yet.  In the past, it was just a matter of time before the rising market came up enough to meet every seller and their price, but now we’re not as confident about when that might happen. It may take a lot longer before pricing rises substantially, and we could plateau for years to come.
  2. Rising inventory gives buyers more confidence that waiting longer will produce better results.  It used to happen like that when banks were selling REOs for whatever the market would bear, but now that those days are over.  Will there be sellers who want/need to sell for whatever the market will bear, or will they wait? (which would create a glut of unsold listings)
  3. Markets will vary. You can see in Bill’s graph above that inventory behaves differently, and it’s really an indicator of how much sellers and listing agents are holding out on price.  Our current inventory is +24% year-over-year, which is mellow given our higher price point compared to those in the graph.

Are you coming off vacation and getting back in the swing? Click here to register your guess of how many total listings we will have between Jan 1 and Feb 28 – the closest will receive four tickets to a Padres game!

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