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Inventory By Area

What’s it like being a home buyer today? It’s a bonanza if you are in the multiple-millions category – there are hundreds of choices! If you want to stay under $1,500,000, the inventory looks bleak:

NSDCC Active Inventory

Town or Area
Zip Code
Actives Under $1.5M
Actives Over $1.5M
Overall Median List Price
Cardiff
92007
1
11
$2,895,000
NW Carlsbad
92008
4
10
$1,872,000
SE Carlsbad
92009
7
9
$1,594,000
NE Carlsbad
92010
2
0
$842,000
SW Carlsbad
92011
5
2
$1,149,000
Carmel Vly
92130
2
21
$3,450,000
Del Mar
92014
0
42
$5,423,000
Encinitas
92024
6
34
$2,737,000
La Jolla
92037
3
95
$4,245,000
RSF
92067
1
100
$5,295,000
Solana Bch
92075
0
12
$5,075,000
NSDCC
All Above
31
336
$3,995,000

Should the lower-end buyers be discouraged? No! There are 92 pending sales listed under $1,500,000 – they just sell fast. The lower-priced you are, the more tuned up you have to be to win a bidding war.

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San Diego #1 in USA

Either we are undervalued, or we’re getting more popular….and maybe both!

The price of a San Diego home could increase by more than 8 percent this year, more than anywhere else in the nation, according to a forecast released Tuesday.

Real estate analysts CoreLogic said the price of a single-family home in San Diego County will increase 8.3 percent from November 2020 to November 2021. That means the median price of house in San Diego could be around $776,000 by the end of the year.

CoreLogic said main reason is a lack of homes for sale that will push up prices as buyers fight it out. A secondary factor is income growth for highly skilled positions in San Diego County.

It isn’t out of the ordinary for San Diego homes to increase a lot in a year — in fact, single-family homes here were up 9.5 percent last year — but the forecast is noteworthy because CoreLogic predicts most markets will see price appreciation slow in most markets.

The only regions that the real estate analysts say will come close to climbing as much as San Diego will be: Miami, predicted to increase 3.2 percent; Los Angeles, up 3.2 percent; and Washington, D.C., up 2.9 percent. CoreLogic said the total national increase should be around 2.5 percent.

“San Diego is just one of those markets that has had a lot of income growth and not enough supply to meet demand,” said Selma Hepp, CoreLogic deputy chief economist.

She said San Diego is an example of what has been seen a lot across the nation: High-wage workers who have been able to work from home have seen fortunes increase during the pandemic while low-wage workers lost income because their jobs were among the first shuttered during shutdowns.

“Income inequality is being exacerbated by all of this,” Hepp said.

Link to full U-T Article

Frenzy Duration

We’ll be all frenzied up for the next few months – when will it cool off?

The real estate market will likely mirror the course of the pandemic.

You’ve probably heard the comparison to the Roaring 20s – the boom that kicked off when World War 1 and the Spanish Flu of 1918 were over and automobiles and telephones fueled the new economy.  Just the relief of seeing the coronavirus beginning to clear should cause more people to get out and about….but getting back to normal could mean less real estate frenzy.

Mortgage rates will reflect the improvement, and rise accordingly.

Don’t expect rates to budge the moment he takes the oath of office, but a Biden administration could eventually impact the direction of mortgage rates.

“Expect tax rates to rise, the Fed to offset increasing inflation with higher rates, and the economy to slow,” Guy Baker, founder of Wealth Teams Alliance, tells The Mortgage Reports.

And there’s this, from Rick Sharga, executive vice president at RealtyTrac: “Biden has called for more government investment in affordable housing, which could be funded in part by proceeds from fees attached to home sales backed by government agencies like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FHA.”

Baker, Sharga and other experts polled by The Mortgage Reports in October predicted 30-year rates would rise to an average 3.51% in 2021 under a Biden administration.

When home buyers hear that rates are going up, they will be tempted to hit the brakes and wait until sellers start lowering their prices to compensate.  Think sellers will lower their prices? Me neither, and the market will probably stall out for months or years, much like it did after the Rocking 2013 Frenzy.

My guess is that we have six more months of frenzy in the bag.

But there will be enough other distractions that the super-hot market will fizzle out by July/August.

Or the first day that mortgage rates hit 3.50%, whichever comes first!

What do you think?

Rates & Millennials To Fuel Market

2020 was a truly unprecedented year. With it behind us, let’s look ahead at three housing market trends that are likely during the next three years.

First, exceptionally low mortgage rates are likely to be around for an extended period. We expect 30-year fixed-rate loans to remain below 3% during early 2021 and average about 3.2% during the next three years. This would be nearly a percentage point lower than the average over the 2010-2019 decade. These low rates will provide an excellent opportunity for families with good credit to buy or refinance homes.

Second, Millennials will add substantial demand for housing over the next few years. Looking at America’s population by age, the largest numbers of Millennials are those aged 28 to 30. With 33 as the median age of recent first-time buyers, demographic forces will add an important tailwind to home-buying demand.

In fact, we expect home sales relative to the housing stock, a measure of home “turnover”, in 2021 to 2023 to be above the average annual turnover rate of the prior two decades.

Read full article here:

https://www.corelogic.com/blog/2020/12/three-year-housing-and-mortgage-outlook.aspx

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Red Hot December

I inputted my new listing around 10:00am this morning…..and I was showing it by 1:15.

We had FIVE showings today, and have SEVEN scheduled for tomorrow. And it’s December!

https://www.compass.com/listing/7168-sitio-corazon-carlsbad-ca-92009/664477436107162137/

Plus I showed properties to three other buyers today!

P. S. My hand-written calendar is easier when driving.

 

Only An Occasional Low Sale

The 15% increase from the last peak 15 years ago doesn’t seem bad, though both were bubblelicious thanks to stimulus (exotic financing then and ultra-low rates today).

https://wolfstreet.com/2020/11/24/the-most-splendid-housing-bubbles-in-america-november-update/

The big difference is that the last bubble was built on the backs of the the under-qualified borrowers who took exotic mortgages from unscrupulous loan brokers.  The bad loans were funneled to Wall Street, where the same thing happened – the Tan Man took advantage of greedy but unknowing financiers and the combined effect exposed the house of cards.  Without the end users making their payments, the machine came to a grinding halt.

Could it happen again?

Because mortgage underwriting has been strict over the last ten years, it’s hard to imagine that a wave of homeowners loaded with equity would get foreclosed – and then the banks would give them away too.

But it is possible that we could have mild swings of 5% to 10%.  But if there were a couple of low sales, wouldn’t the lower-motivated sellers just wait it out? Probably.

Here’s a recent example we can follow – I think we can call this a low sale:

1756 Skimmer Ct., Carlsbad, CA 92011

4 br/2.5 ba, 2,409sf one-story with 3-car garage on a 10,041sf lot.

LP = $1,328,000 on September 10, 2020

SP = $1,000,000 on November 17, 2020.

The home had been on the market for a couple of months and it was time – the seller was ready to move!  My buyers offered the right price, on the right day, and the seller signed it.

It’s a classic example of finding a long-time owner who could sell for less and still walk away with a bucketful of money. The seller paid $430,000 when the home was new in 2001. They didn’t put in any upgrades then or now – it was the original carpet and paint, etc., they made no attempt to improve the property for sale:

https://www.compass.com/listing/1756-skimmer-court-carlsbad-ca-92011/603767865654710185/

The thing to appreciate about this home is that it backs to dedicated open space, where the other side of the street backs to Poinsettia, a four-laner which will soon be connected to the I-5 off-ramp about a mile away.  My buyers benefit from easier access but no noticeable road noise!

New bridge in red

The last two sales of this model were $910,000 and $935,000 in 2017 (does anybody want to pay within 10% of 2017 prices today – yeah!). The last sale on this street was a newly-built 3,380sf home at the end of the street that sold for $1,380,000 in August. It was in the shadow of the power lines, and backed to El Camino Real/Poinsettia intersection with substantial road noise:

Here are the one-story homes sold in the last six months – they average $533/sf, and we closed at $415/sf:

Yes, I’m tooting my own horn for being the agent who recognized that this home was languishing on the market, had an original owner and would be a candidate to sell for less.

But will I be the villian who started the Big Downturn in the 92011? No, every other one-story-home seller nearby will shrug this off and list for at least $500/sf in the foreseeable future.

 

What a Glut Looks Like

In the graph above, the conditions were glutty through July, but now I think we can call it a full-blown panic in SF County. They only had 1,000 homes for sale in May, and their fourth-quarter history already looks very strange. You can bet that buyers are slamming on the brakes!

Any glut-like conditions are easy to identify – as soon as active listings start stacking up, then either prices are too high or we’re running out of buyers.

Thankfully, our NSDCC graphs look the opposite of this one so we’re in good shape, for now.

Read full article here:

https://wolfstreet.com/2020/10/23/housing-market-goes-nuts-everyone-sees-it-but-it-cant-last/

Million-Dollar Sales Double

Ultra-low rates, record home equity, and societal needs/concerns make the perfect frenzy cocktail:

The pandemic is driving a major boom in the housing market that’s breaking all kinds of records and exposing a very uneven economic recovery between the haves and the have-nots.

The most dramatic increases are happening at the top end of the market — sales of homes costing $1 million and up have more than doubled since last year.

Millions of people are working from home while juggling their kids’ remote schooling. And many who can afford to are buying bigger houses.

Home sales in September were up more than 20% from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. And median home prices hit a record $311,800. That’s about $40,000 more than just a year ago.

“It is great news for homeowners as they are seeing equity rise and rise,” says Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the Realtors group. But he says prices are rising too fast. Generally, he says, economists like to see home prices climb in line with people’s wages. But in recent years, home prices have been rising much more quickly.

“It will eventually lead to a choking point where first-time buyers simply can not show up to the market,” Yun says. Already the percentage of first-time buyers is decreasing — they represent about 31% of the market. In a healthy market, they represent 35% to 40% of buyers, Yun says.

He worries that if the trend continues, the country will see a further “divergence in society where you have the haves, with homeownership gaining their equity, and those people who would like to become homeowners continually being frustrated, unable to reach that goal of owning a home.”

Read full article here:

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/10/22/926657942/housing-boom-sales-of-million-dollar-homes-double

Fight Against Eviction Ban

More excitement to stir up next year’s selling season!

Most landlords can survive a while, but faced with no rental income for months, won’t a few long-time landlords say, “Screw it, I’m cashing out and I don’t care about paying the taxes!” Evicting the non-payers doesn’t mean they will have the same rent coming in again immediately either.

Landlords, apartment owners and housing industry groups have unleashed a barrage of legal challenges against the Trump administration’s order protecting renters from eviction, leaving millions of families once again facing the risk of homelessness in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

Over the past month, an array of lawyers and lobbyists have inundated federal, state and local courts. They have sought to stop renters from invoking the federal ban, and in some cases, they’ve tried to quash the policy altogether, arguing that the government did not have the authority to issue it in the first place.

One federal lawsuit brought by a Virginia landlord, for example, argues that the Trump administration wrongly halted evictions based on a “flimsy premise” that doing so might prevent displaced Americans from contracting the coronavirus. The case is supported by an anti-regulatory conservative group with documented past financial ties to a foundation backed by Charles Koch, a Republican megadonor. The lawsuit has also picked up key legal help from a major lobbying organization representing apartment owners.

“There’s a reason eviction is a remedy in the law,” said Caleb Kruckenberg, a lawyer at the Koch-funded New Civil Liberties Alliance, who stressed that landlords are experiencing significant financial disruption, too.

The flurry of lawsuits has created a wave of legal uncertainty, exposing millions of Americans once again to the sort of hardships the Trump administration initially sought to prevent. Federal officials tried to clarify some of the ambiguity in policy guidance issued late Friday night. But the update instead appeared to give landlords a clearer green light to start eviction proceedings against some cash-strapped renters, even though a moratorium remains in place until the end of the year.

The Trump administration’s latest move perplexed Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, who said she remains fearful about a wave of evictions on the horizon.

“To understand, ask yourself the question: Why would a landlord want to start eviction proceedings in October for an eviction that can’t happen until January? The answer: to pressure, scare and intimidate renters into leaving sooner,” she said.

White House spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said in a statement that the administration “has actively engaged with stakeholders across the country to ensure both renters and landlords have the necessary resources to make timely rent and debt payments.”

The legal plight facing millions of cash-strapped renters highlights the nature of the nation’s unequal recovery, as Americans who struggled most at the outset of the pandemic continue to face severe hardship — even as the economy begins to improve.

About 1 in 3 adults say it is somewhat or very likely that they could face the threat of eviction or foreclosure over the next two months, according to survey data released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau, underscoring how sustained unemployment and dwindling federal aid may be creating the conditions for a housing crisis.

Link to Full Article

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