This morning we have more homes in escrow than we have for sale!
NSDCC Detached-Home Listings
||# of Listings
||Median List Price
Once upon a time I was discussing the actives/pendings relationship with local agent Peter B. He agreed that a 2:1 ratio of actives to pendings was a sign of a healthy market. If 2:1 was healthy, what is 1:1?
One thing that’s happening is that the action is rising into the upper price ranges. Today we have 94 homes in escrow that are priced over $3,000,000, which I doubt we’ve ever had before.
If we don’t see a surge of more listings, the pendings could extend its lead in the coming days/weeks!
We are getting close to a remarkable event – having more pendings than actives.
Here’s the current scorecard – 359 Actives, and 338 Pendings!
NSDCC Actives and Pendings
|$1.0M – $1.5M
|$1.5M – $2.0M
WE HAVE MORE PENDINGS THAN ACTIVES IN EVERY CATEGORY EXCEPT OVER-$3,000,000!
Are we getting any more inventory? Are more homes coming to market?
There have been a few more good listings, which gives hope. The Super Bowl being on February 7th was later than usual, but the overall numbers are still very light:
NSDCC New Listings Between Feb 1 – Feb 15
||Total Number of Listings
||Median List Price
||Number Under $2M
The 2021 count will climb a bit higher, but it’s safe to say that we are still well behind where we usually are.
If we end up around 165 listings, and the percentage sold improves to 70%, it would equal 116 sales which is close to the 2020 total.
If all we are missing are the casual sellers that wouldn’t have sold anyway, are we any worse off?
Not really – and the market would be more efficient if we’re just left with the serious players all around.
When you look at the general data, the 25% dip year-over-year of January listings doesn’t look so bad – especially on a graph. Heck, we’re in the middle of a pandemic!
But look how it is playing out:
NSDCC Detached-Home New Listings
||New Listings in January
||# of Those Pend/Sold
||Pend/Sold Median DOM
The lower-end is smoking hot where virtually all listings have found a buyer (88%), and for the higher-end to have most of the January listings go pending already is astonishing!
This has to be the best performing market of all-time!
We are only able to sell what’s for sale, so the direction of the frenzy depends on inventory.
If we get a surge of inventory, then sales will increase.
If we don’t get a surge of inventory, then bidding wars and prices go crazy.
We saw the differences here where the inventory shortage under $1,500,000 is particularly acute.
When looking at inventory by area, it’s the same thing. We are comparing to non-Covid years and this month isn’t done yet, but you can see below that the number of houses coming on the market is well under what it’s been in the past:
January Total SFR Listings By Area
We have 123 listings so far this month and we might get up to 150 by Sunday – but even that will be 25% under last year’s count at a time when we probably have twice as many buyers in the hunt.
We can endure a slight and gradual reduction of inventory in the higher-end market, where there will always be hundreds of choices available and the number of buyers are limited, relatively. But the squeeze on the lower-end is getting worse:
NSDCC Total Number of Listings, Jan 1-21
||Total # of Listings
||% Over $1.5M
|2020 vs 2021 YoY diff
Not only has there been just 52 new listings priced under $1,500,000 in 2021, but today there are only 17 of them that are actively for sale. In an area with 300,000+ people!
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
||Actives Under $1.5M
||Actives Over $1.5M
||Overall Median List Price
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.
Happy New Year…..how about a contest to get it started?
My case for a full-blown frenzy is based on having additional supply to fuel the seemingly-insatiable demand brought on by the pandemic – having more homes for sale will help spike sales and prices. Betting on more people selling their piece of paradise sounds insane as the coronavirus rages throughout the region, but we’re overdue – and there are a number of reasons why it could happen:
We will know how the selling season will unravel just by the number of new listings in January.
Here is the history:
NSDCC January Listings
||Number of January Listings
The range is 275-471, the median is 412, and the average is 396 listings. Last year we had 5% fewer listings, but 13% more sales than in 2019. My 2021 prediction is 10% more NSDCC listings year-over-year, 10% more sales, and a 10% increase in the NSDCC median sales price.
OUR CONTEST: GUESS THE NUMBER OF NSDCC LISTINGS IN JANUARY, 2021!
In 2020, saw a big drop-off in January listings year-over-year (-16%), and that was before the pandemic. If we see a similar amount, or fewer, then prices will go nuts but be limited to the neighborhoods that actually have sales, and the lucky few who can win a bidding war.
If we have a surge in listings, then more of the demand will be satisfied and the frenzy will reach more areas – and prices go up faster because of the additional comps, all of which should close for a higher price than the last sale.
Having a contest based on the number of January listings will help to keep our focus on one of the leading indicators for the 2021 selling season.
The winner will be who guesses the closest (above or below) to the actual number of January listings as counted on the morning of February 15th. The winner will receive two tickets to a day at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, June 17-20, and four tickets to a game with World-Series favorite, the San Diego Padres!
I have purchased tickets to both events already, so as long as the ‘rona cooperates and fans are allowed, we will have prizes. Neither the PGA or the Padres have committed to a set policy on fans yet though, so if they both cancel out then I’ll think of something else for a prize.
Our Padres tickets aren’t front row, but they are decent:
Leave your guess in the the comment section on how many NSDCC SFR listings we’ll have in January!
When will we know more about the 2021 frenzy?
We already know it’s going to be hot – look at the sales count for this month, plus we have 285 pendings:
NSDCC December Sales
||The Following January Sales
We knew that 2020 was going to be better than usual just by the 185 sales in January. Then the pandemic derailed us for a couple of months, but we gained it all back in the second half of the year and 2020 wound up with the most annual NSDCC sales ever.
The drop-off from December to January a year ago was only 19%, so if we see about the same decline next month, we’ll know that the frenzy is continuing. We have 283 December sales this morning, and once we add today’s sales plus the late-reporters we’ll probably be around 310 sales for this month(!!!).
If next month’s sales end up around 251 or higher (310-19%), then we’ll know that the frenzy is continuing.
The last frenzy happened in 2013, and you can see how it continued into early 2014 with only a 17% drop off. But by the end of 2014, the frenzy was over – expect the current frenzy to die down by the end of 2021.
The pendings count has been mirroring the actives pretty closely since mid-October, with the best example during election week when they moved about the same amount in opposite directions.
With fewer listings and more sales, the failure rate this year has been lower than ever. Historically we’ve had around 40% of listings NOT sell, but this year it’s closer to 30%:
2018: 2,814/4,864 = 0.58
2019: 2,838/4,773 = 0.59
2020: 3,106/4,480 = 0.69 (+17% yoy)
Though all prices ranges have benefited, the action has been heaviest on the lower-end.
We have 87 NSDCC homes for sale UNDER $2,000,000 today, and 338 OVER! The Median is $3,692,500!
Get Good Help!