Tuesday Tidbits

Rob Dawg left this comment regarding the seniors who are aging-in-place:

Wait until autonomous vehicles add another ten years.

Self-driving cars have the potential to change everything about real estate:

  1. Seniors be able to stay in their home longer.
  2. Homebuyers could live farther away and get more home for their money.
  3. Kids wouldn’t need parents driving them around.

But one of the big hurdles is whether people will trust computers to drive the cars for them.  You may know that Mercedes-Benz has installed automatic braking systems, and I have one on my car – and hate it.

When I drive up slowly at an intersection, the computer is overly-sensitive, and brakes too early – and it’s not gentle. With no warning, the computer slams the brakes on, giving riders a whiplash, and in one case, causing the driver behind to hit me!  The system has a manual turn-off button, but it’s hard to find and not permanent so it’s a constant battle.  Donna agreed that I’ve altered my driving considerably, but I’m giving up.  I’m going to get a normal car instead.

More hurdles that will cause autonomous vehicles to be delayed:

Link to Five Factors Slowing Down Self-Driving Cars


Have you seen homes going pending that weren’t selling a few months ago?

You could make a case that the market is somewhat seasonal, and just the increase in the number of buyers would improve the market.  But junk is junk, whether you’ve been looking for days or months.

We already discussed how sellers of newly-listed homes are bursting with optimism now that the selling season is underway.  But those sellers who have been lingering for weeks or months have already tested the market, and should be more realistic.

My theory is that some buyers are cutting deals on the older listings.


Multiple offers are back.  Three examples from the last 24 hours:

  • One-story house that had been on the market for 30 days (plus Coming Soon)
  • Two-story house that just listed for $1M in SEH, plus
  • A contingent buyer around $2 million getting beat out twice to non-contingent buyers.

It is remarkable that in 2019, realtors still don’t have rules, laws, procedures, or any effective guidance on how to handle a bidding war so the sellers get the best deal while giving every buyer a fair chance to compete.

But we do have a summary form!  We could do this on a napkin:

Good luck!

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.


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!



“Picking Up”

We were due for a surge in market activity with rates coming down, and the Chargers and rain both being done.  Several agents are reporting increased activity over the last few days, and it seems like buyers are engaging.

We should see heightened activity for the next week, then a break for a few days around the Super Bowl as everyone grabs their guacamole, with the Spring Selling Season beginning in earnest on February 4th.

The weekend of February 9th and 10th should be huge!

It’s nice that we have somebody to talk to now, but what does it mean?  It means people are looking around – that’s it.  Those who find an incredibly-good fit might pounce, but most are going to wait-and-see how the season develops.

So far, we’re having about the same number of new NSDCC listings come to market as we did last year, so no panic among potential sellers.  Their main focus is only on how high they can push their price – it’s the buyers who are paying close attention to the real market activity, and what they see is determined by their mindset.

Here are some examples:

Due for a Surge?

Does weather affect home sales?

Yes, buyers don’t mind the distraction when the market is uncertain!

But now that the holidays are over, the Chargers are done, more houses are coming to market, and mortgage rates are a half-point lower than they were three months ago, we are (over)due for a surge of activity.

There are two big NFL games on Sunday afternoon, which leaves Saturday wide open – and it has the best weather of the week.

No big games the following weekend, so if the weather holds out, buyers should be fully engaged – and if they aren’t, then that says something too.

It’s hard enough just trying to sell – if you have to schedule around the weather and other conflicts (graduations, for example), it narrows down the chances even more.  But if we can anticipate opportunities, let’s take advantage.

Inventory Watch

The slowdown started during the summer, so there was some evidence of it by the beginning of August – and it has been in the news non-stop ever since.

Are sellers getting the message?

Maybe, but they must think it applies to someone else:

NSDCC Average List-Price-Per-SF:

$1.0M to $1.5M
$1.5M to $2.0M
Aug 1
Sep 3
Oct 1
Nov 5
Dec 3

Lower their price? They’d rather not sell – and this is December, when you’d think the sellers who are on the open market must be motivated.

Don’t get your hopes up about seeing a big dump on price in Spring, 2019. If it were to happen, it will happen quietly, and you’ll only see it after the fact in late summer, once sellers have exhausted their optimism.


Congrats Tom!

Tom’s house in South Oceanside was one of the homes that was picked up in that market surge about a month ago.  The weather was ideal, rates were rising, there was a bit of a lull before the holidays, and we compared favorably to the other houses for sale nearby.  When another market-surge happens, let’s see if we can determine the cause (hopefully there will be others!).

The two others that went pending the same week didn’t fare as well.

  1. The house that did close escrow looked like it had to dump on price to find a buyer – but it wasn’t as bad as it appears.  The owner/agent had it listed for $829,000, and it closed at $750,000, which looks like a dramatic 10% discount. But the buyer had gone direct, and the seller reduced the price by the amount of the commission.  It was noted as such in the confidential remarks, but future buyers won’t see those and will probably consider the $750,000 as the comp price in future valuations.
  2. The other house that went pending fell out of escrow, due to mixed signals that made the buyers uncomfortable, so they cancelled.

These demonstrate how the market has changed.

Previously, the first house would have had more interest, and owner/agents would have been more patient about working the price higher.

In the second example, buyers would have been more likely to put up with some mis-direction, but there is zero tolerance now.

We had Tom’s house listed for $989,000, and we closed at $975,000.

Get Good Help!

Inventory Watch

There are times when the general market is in a funk and homes aren’t selling – when it’s easy to think, “Oh this is it, we’re cooked”.

There are also times when the market erupts, and a series of homes that have been languishing for months and/or homes that appear overpriced go pending – which then triggers additional pendings nearby.

Our market is having one of those surges right now!

Not just a couple here and there – we have had dozens of NSDCC homes go pending in the last 10-14 days that have been listed for months, or priced so high you’d think they don’t have a chance.

You sure want to be on the market when that happens!

Richard and I both sold our listings featured here on Friday, and in my case, Tom’s house was the third one listed over $900,000 in South Oceanside to go pending in the last week!

Get Good Help!


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