Five-Year Sales History

Here are each year’s sales counts for the January-through-August time frame.

It shows the extraordinary 2021 sales numbers in most areas!

But if you thought getting back to the numbers we had in 2019 would feel normal, we’re not there yet. In fact, most areas are well under their 2019 sales counts, except for Rancho Santa Fe!

The new normal is lower sales with sticky prices.

Short-Term Rental Policies

The Natalie dance video collection is taking forever to upload! While we wait, let’s cover the short-term rental policies in North County:

Unpermitted short-term rental units have accounted for most of the reported code compliance violations throughout the North County coastal region, based on a review of records from each city that cover 2018 to midway through 2023.

As platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo remain popular, short-term rental regulations have been a priority along the coast from Del Mar to Oceanside. With concerns ranging from disturbances to neighbors to housing units that are essentially erased from the market as a statewide housing crisis persists, here is how cities have been addressing short-term rentals:


Approximately 45 percent of the 263 reported violations recorded by city staff over that five-year span were for illegal short-term rentals. Last year, the City Council approved an ordinance that limited short-term rental permits for non-hosted properties to no more than 2.5 percent of the city’s total housing units. “The rules that we have in place currently make it somewhat painful for cheaters,” Encinitas Mayor Tony Kranz said. “So if people engage in short-term rentals that are not permitted, it’s very likely they’re going to get caught and the fines we have make it a little more painful.”

Another common description for reported violations was “lack of best efforts,” which was a catchall term that the city used for multiple complaints at a single address. City officials now use more specific terms.

Other reported violations recorded by code compliance included illegal use of a short-term rental as a wedding venue, loud music, excessive noise, excessive number of vehicles and permit not displayed. Encinitas also works with an outside company that helps track Airbnb and other listings within the community, which the city uses to monitor potential permit violations.


Solana Beach

Council members have been discussing updates to the city’s short-term rental ordinance, which is almost 20 years old. Mayor Lesa Heebner said they will consider potential changes later this month or in October. According to city staff, there have been about 250 to 350 STR permits issued each year, equal to about 5 percent of the housing stock in Solana Beach.

The city had 37 reported code compliance violations from 2018 to June 2023, most involving permit issues. “The intent here is to solicit as much feedback as we can get to understand what should be done,” Solana Beach Deputy Mayor David Zito said earlier this year.

Del Mar

The Del Mar City Council is discussing a short-term rental ordinance this month. The city has been beset over the past several years with legal challenges, battles with the California Coastal Commission and delays from the COVID-19 pandemic that have prevented passage of a permanent set of regulations. The current law is a temporary forbearance policy that allows properties to operate as short-term rentals if they can prove they were in operation before April 2016.

According to city records, reported violations of illegal short-term rentals typically lead to a process of verifying whether the unit really was being used as an STR, and, if so, whether the unit qualifies under the forbearance policy.

“There has been a long-term tradition of having short-term rentals and vacation rentals,” City Councilmember Dave Druker said during a July meeting. “We want to make sure as we create these ordinances that we understand that is what’s happened in the past. My assumption is that we’re not going to turn around and say that short-term rentals are not allowed, period.”


Carlsbad allows short-term rentals only within the coastal zone, based on regulations approved by the City Council that took effect in 2015.

About 84 percent of the 666 reported violations involved illegal short-term rentals, either unpermitted within the coastal zone or operating in the non-coastal zone where they are banned.



Plateau City

This is what it feels like in Plateau City. It’s a little bumpy but the pricing looks range-bound.

Sales cool off towards the end of the year – even during the frenzy. Surprisingly, last month might end up being the best of the year for sales, and the market should settle down for the rest of 2023….shouldn’t it?

There are only 157 NSDCC pendings today, so it’s likely that in the 4th quarter of 2023, the monthly sales will slip under 100 per month, which is fine. Everyone will be anticipating the spring selling season!

NSDCC July Sales

The median sales price of houses sold between La Jolla and Carlsbad last month was 13% lower than it was in June, which demonstrates how terrible it is for a gauge.

Obviously, the houses sold are different each month. In July, there happened to be 35% more houses sold that were priced under $2,000,000 than in June (88 vs. 65), which dragged down the median sales price.

The recent sales counts are impressive, and we’ve already had 91 sales this month with two weeks to go!

We will muddle through!

NSDCC Current Conditions

I try to investigate different ways to analyze the market data so readers can grab something pertinent that might help them make a better decision about their real estate needs.

Here’s today’s attempt!

July isn’t done yet but you can see the trend: The high-end isn’t cooking like it was.


  • More sales on the lower-end causes the median sales price to drop.
  • The lower Median Days On Market is a result of fewer high-end sales.
  • Only 10 sales over $4,000,000 means we’ll probably have around 15 total.

The higher-end homes are notorious for being priced aspirationally, and the data suggests that buyers aren’t going for it like they were previously.

The low end is hot, and the high end is, well, not so much!

NSDCC Second Half of 2023

This article gets into the usual topics for those trying to forecast the future:


Their experts think that mortgage rates will ease for the rest of the year, which will cause the inventory of homes for sale to increase. Apparently they are stuck on the whole golden handcuffs theory of why inventory is ultra-low, and when rates drop, then everything will be fine.

Here are their two quotes on the direction of home pricing:

Weak home prices are expected over the summer months, when they are typically at their peak, according to Realtor.com’s Hale.

“Specifically, while June is expected to be the seasonal peak for home prices in 2023, like it is most years, we won’t see as big of a month to month climb as we did in 2022, which will mean ongoing mild declines when we’re comparing home sale prices to one year ago,” Hale said.

The declines are expected to run through the early fall, depending on the Federal Reserve.

“By the time we get to the fourth quarter, mortgage rate and seasonal home price relief could be enough to stanch the declines” Hale added. “On net, we expect average home prices in 2023 to fall 0.6% compared to 2022.”

As supply boosts and mortgage rates and home prices fall, sales are expected to rise through the end of the year, according to NAR’s Yun.

“We’re likely approaching the bottom in home sales with steady improving home sales in the second half of the year and into 2024,” Yun said.

None of their experts (including Robert) offer any data to support their cases, and are just guessing.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the topic, shall we?

To say that the current market conditions are unprecedented is putting it lightly.


But that’s where we are.

The huge gap between the 2023 MLP and MSP suggests that buyers are unwilling to pay the higher prices, but pricing was sluggish in the first two months of the year so there was some lag – just like in 2020 when we had a couple of months of pandemic trouble.

Buyers should really be picky in the off-season, so any thoughts of sales increasing are optimistic. With only the creampuffs selling, pricing should keep rising, except in areas where the only homes for sale are the scratch-and-dent/fixers and where unscrupulous agents doing their dirty work (this is more of a problem for pricing than you might think).

Fewer comps means that one or two sales in either direction will impact the prices for the rest of 2023.

Here’s an example – our La Costa Valley Six had a listing on Sitio Caucho hit the market on June 14th, and it promptly went pending within seven days:

At first, you might think that the new pending sale should close above $2,200,000 and that trend would be bolstered. But Vista Acedera has gotten tired of being left behind, and on Monday they lowered their price from $2,125,000 to $2,050,000.

What’s the trend now?

Lowering their price was smart because they have been on the market since the end of April and summer will be over before you know it. They really want to be the next home to sell – but what will that do to the others left for sale, and the other new listings to come between now and the 2024 Selling Season?

Get Good Help!

NSDCC Monthly Listings, May

They feel like the good old days but it was only 4-5 years ago that we could count on 200-300 listings priced under $2,000,000 to hit the market every month. It caused some complacency and pickiness among buyers, but now that the choices have narrowed so quickly, there is a lingering panic in the air.

Those buyers who only qualify for $1,000,000 are forced to consider other choices further out, and for many that means out of state.

Those in the $1M to $2M market are shocked to see about a quarter of the number of monthly listings we used to see, but at least they still have a shot – though what you get for that money has been greatly diminished. It’s understandable why the frenzy conditions are still happening though.

Thankfully, a lot of affluent people want to live here!

SP:LP Rebound


The hyper-frenzy days of a 109% ratio between the monthly median sales prices and median list prices are probably long gone….much like 3% mortgages!

It is remarkable how the SP:LP ratio has bounced back. Buyers are paying the money if they find a good fit!

Frenzy Monitor

The number of active (unsold) listings has been on the rise, and is now 13% higher than it was a month ago – though I would still characterize the current market conditions as steady.

Compare your stats from this month to last June and July when higher rates had begun to take their toll. The rate-change was rather abrupt, and it was natural for buyers to wait-and-see about the impact which caused the active inventory to soar.

If your area looks similar to last June/July, it’s probably not a good thing.

The activity this year is more normal and typically what happens as the selling season closes out – sellers are too enthusiastic after a couple of hot months and don’t adjust their price expectations fast enough.

There have been 57 closings between La Jolla and Carlsbad this month, which is good. The monthly sales total should finish over 100, but it probably won’t get up to the 168 sales we had in May.

There will be a few more eye-popping sales, but generally the 2023 market is fading away.

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