Local Trends

None of the pricing metrics are great but at least they demonstrate the trends over time. These graphs above are showing the latest data, including last month, and it’s all fairly positive….for now. With the extra inventory, buyers aren’t going to pay crazy money unless they see the perfect house. Sellers aren’t going to give them away though, so the trend for the rest of 2024 should be flat.

These graphs are interactive so scroll over to see the numbers.

There is extra unsold inventory but nobody is going to call this a flood, especially vs. 2019:

Sales will suffer as long as rates and prices are high. Have we gotten used to having fewer sales yet? The trend is going to last a while – probably for years to come:

Populations from the 2020 Census:

Carlsbad: 114,746

Encinitas: 62,007

Carmel Valley, 92130: 61,595

Rancho Santa Fe: 9,344

NSDCC Listings, YTD

NSDCC Listings, Jan 1 – May 15

Can we use statistics to describe the market conditions today?

This chart above helps a little. Even though the number of listings is drastically lower than it used to be, apparently the market has been adjusting – mostly by price!

I mentioned that it seemed like everything is priced $200,000 more than it was last year, and the median list price reflects a similar number. Buyers aren’t taking the full plunge though, and the 85% SP:LP is a sign of normalizing (buyers having more negotiating power).

The frenzy that caused virtually everything to sell is long gone, and we’ll probably be back to having 30% to 40% of the listings not selling. This chart doesn’t show the number of refreshed listings where agents cancel and then re-input right away to “refresh” it – but be on the lookout. We will be seeing more of those this year.

Statistically, the market conditions look fairly healthy. Though different than the recent past!

NSDCC Monthly Sales History

How will the rest of 2024 play out?

Like last year, sales will probably fade away unless more sellers are so motivated that they adjust their price in time. The number of NSDCC active listings has stayed under 400 all year – until this week.

Today there are 421 active listings between La Jolla and Carlsbad. Last year the number of actives was only above 400 during a three-week stretch in July.

There have been 90 sales closed in May so far.

Frenzy Monitor

This chart shows identifies the hot spots, and not-so-hot spots, as compared to last year. Southeast Carlsbad and Carmel Valley both have substantially more pendings this year, and NW Carlsbad and Encinitas have roughly double the number of actives and where potential gluts might be forming.

Overall, there are 25% more active listings, and 21% more pending listings – so much of the additional inventory is getting soaked up.

Pricing is about the same as last year:

NSDCC Median List Price of Active Listings

May 15, 2023: $3,749,400

May 15, 2024: $3,895,000

NSDCC Median Sales Price in May

2023: $2,362,500 (178 sales)

2024: $2,310,000 (68 sales so far)

After last month’s eye-popping 200 sales, there was some hope that this month would be equally productive. But it looks like we’ll be fortunate to match last May’s count.

Overly Optimistic

Pardon the casual presentation. I’m used to working with this same basic graph format but it’s limited to 50 datapoints – we’d really like to take these back a few years to see the long-term trends.

But in early 2023, the active listings in the $3M – $4M category were range bound between 1,170/sf and 1,342/sf, so there is some normal optimism in springtime. But not like this pop in 2024 (above). These two subsets are the meat of the market, and aren’t swayed by radical outliers that would tweak the averages.

Starting right after the Super Bowl, there was a huge swing from $1,252/sf to $1,515/sf in the $3M – $4M category, and it has stayed elevated until the last couple of weeks. The reason for pricing to relax a little?

The number of unsold listings are starting to stack up now:

There isn’t any reason for home buyers to think mortgage rates are going to drop significantly this year.  If there were one or two Fed cuts, it would only cause mortgage rates to get back into the 6s which isn’t enough to compensate for the sky-high prices that buyers are seeing today.

Then we have the changes from the commission lawsuit, which will have a clunky start over the next few months as buyers grapple with hiring a buyer-agent in writing just to tour a house. All we need is the Padres to go on a run this summer and we will have all the excuses we need for a very sluggish rest of the year.

NSDCC First Quarter Comparisons

The first quarter of 2024 is the only 1Q in recent history to have increases in BOTH the number of listings AND the median list price. Previously, increases in pricing had a corresponding dip in the number of listings available for buyers to consider.

If you are like me, you’ve seen a noticeable surge in seller optimism in 2024. It’s not just the median list price that is up 8%, doesn’t it seem like everything is $200,000 higher than last year?

Inventory Watch

The NSDCC houses for sale have had a median list price over $4,000,000 all year.

How is the upper half of the market performing?

While the $2,000,000 to $4,000,000 market has seen continued upward pressure on pricing (click below on more…), the $4,000,000+ list pricing has been correcting – and it’s working!

The average LP/sf has dropped 10% since January, and the number of active (unsold) listings is trickling up. But the average days-on-market is settling down, and the number of pendings look great. There have already been 42 NSDCC sales closed this year over $4,000,000!

Fun fact:

NSDCC Active Listings Priced Over $10,000,000 Today: 46

NSDCC Listings Sold Over $10,000,000, Last 12 Months: 43

It is a very affluent marketplace!


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