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Sizzling November

I agree that homes selling quicker – evidenced by the lower market times – means crazy price increases.  Sellers can get away with pricing their home at 5% to 10% above comps and buyers still come running.

How crazy is it?

More than half of our sales are finding their buyer in 14 days or less!

NSDCC November Sales

Year
Total # of Sales
Sales with <14 DOM
% of Sales <14 DOM
2019
219
74
34%
2020
251
136
54%

Let’s also note that by the time we’re done, there will be close to 300 sales this month, which is unheard of for November!

‘End of Forbearance To Be A Non-Event’

Health, unemployment, stairs, taxes, finances, politics…….selling your home is becoming the answer for everything!

More than 2.5 million American homeowners have stopped paying their mortgages, taking advantage of penalty-free forbearance periods offered by lenders.

What happens when the free pass fades away next year?

Not much, and certainly nothing approaching the flood of foreclosures that defined the Great Recession, according to the emerging consensus among economists. While some homeowners are sure to feel the pain of forced sales, housing experts increasingly expect the end of forbearance to be a non-event for the gravity-defying housing market.

That’s largely because home prices have risen sharply during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, homeowners who find themselves unable to pay their mortgages when their forbearance periods end likely will be able to sell for a profit, rather than going into foreclosure.

“If they have equity, they can always sell off the house and pay the mortgage,” says Ralph DeFranco, global chief economist at mortgage insurance company Arch Capital Services. “It’s not a great outcome, but it’s less terrible than letting the bank take it and sell it.”

Link to Article

Zillow Raises Appreciation Forecast

I showed three houses over the weekend, and other buyer groups were looking before and after. For every hot buy, it seems like there are 5-10 buyers!

This enthusiastic demand coming in November can only mean that the 2021 market is going to go ballistic. We will get the latest Case-Shiller Index tomorrow, and the month-over-month gain is going to be close to 2% for the San Diego metro area.

Even Zillow is getting more fired up – they raised their forecast of annual appreciation for Del Mar.

+6.9% forecast last month

+8.5% forecast this month!

 

If the high-end goes up 8.5% in the next year, then the low- and mid-range markets should be even hotter!

Here were their forecasts for our local NSDCC areas from last month:

https://www.bubbleinfo.com/2020/11/01/zillow-2021-forecasts/

If we have an uptick in boomer inventory that cools off the market slightly (and the right surge could increase sales) then we should survive quite nicely at 3/4 speed of where we’ve been the last few months!

Hat tip to Booty Juice for sending!

HMI Record

For the third straight month the level of builder confidence in the new home market set a record high. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said the Housing Market Index (HMI) it co-sponsors with Wells Fargo soared 5 points in November to 90. This is the highest level in the 35-year history of the HMI which set records of 83 in September and 85 in October. These are the only times in its history that the Index surpassed the 80-point level and is triple its level in April when the pandemic caused it to plunge.

NAHB cautioned, however, that 69 percent of the survey responses were received before the results of the presidential election were called on Nov. 7. The election results and their future impacts on housing market conditions, will be more fully reflected in December’s HMI report.

Robert Dietz, NAHB chief economist, said that builder confidence has soared because historically low mortgage rates, favorable demographics, and an ongoing buyer preference for the suburbs have spurred demand and raised new home sales by nearly 17 percent year-over-year. He added, “Though builders continue to sign sales contracts at a solid pace, lot and material availability is holding back some building activity. Looking ahead to next year, regulatory policy risk will be a key concern given these supply-side constraints.

Regional scores are presented as three-month moving averages. The Northeast increased two points to 83, the Midwest jumped six points to 80, the South and West each rose four points to 86 and 94, respectively.

http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/11172020_nahb_builder_confidence.asp

Phoenix is Cooking

Of the places benefiting from the people fleeing California, Phoenix has to be #1 on the list. Their Case-Shiller Index had the biggest increase in the nation this week (+9.9%), and look at the average market time:

PHOENIX — The greater Phoenix housing market has already returned to pre-pandemic levels and could be on track for a record October in total homes sold, according to Valley housing analyst Tina Tamboer with The Cromford Report.

“The pandemic may as well have been a decade ago now,” she told ABC15.

“We soared in contract activity between May and June and [that activity] stayed relatively high,” Tamboer said, adding that the increase coincided with the state beginning to ease COVID-19 restrictions on businesses.

In April, Tamboer said the median time for a Valley home to move under contract was 21 days. Today, that time frame is less than eight days. October is also on track to see 30% more Valley homes sold than a “normal” year. She said typical factors that could delay a home purchase — like vacation plans and children returning to school — have been impacted.

Even as home prices rise, the CARES Act could allow potential homebuyers to access their savings early — from a 401k account, for example — without penalty. Mortgage rates have also set record lows, which could offset any increase in total home price when calculating a monthly payment.

Link to Article

While we’re at it, let’s also mention the CARES Act benefits, which may not help many homebuyers in San Diego but could keep homeowners afloat who have lost jobs:

In response to our massive economic downturn and sudden unemployment affecting 30 million-plus Americans, Congress passed new legislation in March to make it easier to access your retirement savings.

To that point, an individual can now take a withdrawal of up to $100,000 from eligible retirement plans, including 401(k) plans and IRAs, without the 10% penalty applying.

Additionally, the IRS recently released guidance broadening the number of people who can take coronavirus-related distributions from 401(k) plans and IRAs. For example, if your spouse has lost his or her job due to coronavirus or had a job offer rescinded due to the pandemic, you can take up to $100,000 from your own retirement account.

These coronavirus-related distributions are only available in 2020, so it’s a consideration that would need to be taken over the next six months as the legislation stands today. Note that while the 10% penalty has been temporarily waived, the tax liability on the distribution has not. The good news is you will have up to three years to pay the tax liability on the amount of your distribution, which is designed to ease what might look to be a major tax hit.

Link to Article

“Housing Market is Exploding”

So what’s your take on the strength of the housing market now and how the election could change it?

BARBARA CORCORAN: I don’t think the election is going to have much to do with the housing market. It’s like a horse that’s run out of the bar– the barn at about 100 miles an hour, and there’s no stopping it. Of course, it’s on an even market. The suburban areas, the wealthier vacation areas, the country areas are all skyrocketing with the shortage of listings and prices going up far beyond what’s reported. Because you have to realize, when price increases are reported by any organization, it’s based on closings, not on deals that were just made, which are always made three months in advance.

So I think the housing market is exploding well beyond what’s being reported, and I think that’s going to come out in the next couple of months. But so far as how the election will affect it, it’s amazing. It’s almost like the strength is beyond the election that nobody’s paying attention.

For every two buyers, there’s one house to be had. So there’s an extreme slanted market with a shortage of inventory. The housing market is so hot, I almost feel like I should apologize for it. It’s not even my market, OK?

But the housing market is so strong right now, we’re not going to make up for this lost time for a lot of months to be coming up, and prices are going to price out all the starter homes, of course, as time goes on. But every other market is going to be going like hotcakes. And you can count on it for the next three to six months easily. There’s too much pent up demand. There’s too short a supply, and it’s going to take a while to even that score out.

Link to Yahoo Article

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

2021 Moving Survey Results

The results are in!

We reached 1,692 people, of which 89 participated in the survey, which is about right.

Let’s go through each question.

Q1. Most of the participants (2/3) already live in San Diego County.  The question was passive in nature, but it was interesting that 10 out of 86 people have thought about moving here!

Q2. No surprise that 2/3s aren’t moving, but stunning that the next highest category was those who are selling and leaving California!  Of those who are moving, 37% are leaving the state!

Q3. (No chart) Their results chart was poorly formatted, but 10 out of 70 rated their likelihood of moving as an 8,9 or 10.

Q4. Of those who plan to move, 27% are jumping right on it in the first quarter of 2021!

Q5. Covid-19 only caused 5 people to change their plans about moving?

It’s still 7% of those surveyed, which is enough to change the outcome, especially if we had that much more inventory to sell. The tipping point is probably more like 15% to 20% additional inventory to sell – then buyers might take a step back to see where this is going.

Q6. A bit of a shocker here: Getting My Price was the least concern!  It may look easy, but getting your price in 2021 will require skill and some luck. Finding the Next Home is by far the biggest concern, and if we have more inventory it could grease the wheels a bit.

Q7. Those who aren’t moving would have selected the #4 answer, but glad to see the majority believe in good help!

Others left warm thoughts appreciating the blog and the effort. It’s my pleasure – thanks for participating!

Frenzy or Glut…Or Frut?

The 2021 market is shaping up to be a humdinger!

Will ultra-low rates and more inventory cause it to be the Frenzy of All-Time?  Or will a surge of home sellers – namely the baby-boomers – bring about a flood of homes for sale that swamp the market?

Frenzy, or Glut?

Or as the market transitions from one to the other, shall we call the combo a Frut?

We know pricing will be higher than it is today.  It is inevitable that the 2021 sellers will add a little mustard to the comps; after all, this is their opportunity to hit the jackpot.

It will look like a frenzy, right up to the point where buyers back off because they see a few too many homes not selling.  It won’t happen in February or March because it will be too early. But by April and May the unsold listings could start stacking up, and what looked like a frenzy could turn into a glut in a matter of a few days.

If sellers don’t flood the market in April and May, we should experience a full-blown frenzy straight through to summer….as long as pricing seems reasonable to buyers. But some areas, and maybe only a few, won’t have enough demand to soak up the April/May supply.

Buyers AND sellers will struggle to identify which is which.

Here’s a way to know.

It will be different for every neighborhood, but let’s say in a neighborhood of 100 homes, the current average length of ownership is 12 years. It means the number of sales should average around 8 homes per year, with them bunched up around the spring selling season.  Let’s say 4-6 of those sales would happen between March and June.

You can also calculate how many homes sold in your neighborhood this year, and compare.

In either case, if you saw new listings hitting the market in early spring that would double the number of sales in either of the two measurements above, then you’ll know that something unusual is happening.

The demand has overwhelmed the supply this year, at least in the NSDCC Under-$2,000,000 category.  We should survive, and probably thrive with additional supply.  So it would take about double the number of homes for sale to make it obvious, and cause concern.

Buyers are known to stop on a dime, so the impact will likely be immediate.

For a precursor, track the number of new listings hitting the market, and whether they go pending in the critical first 7-10 days they are for sale.

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